Apples: More Than 7,500 Varieties

As one of the most popular fruits in the world, apples have been a staple in diets for centuries. But did you know that there are more than 7,500 different varieties of apples grown around the globe? From the sweet and juicy Honeycrisp to the tart and tangy Granny Smith, the world of apples is vast and diverse.

A Brief History of Apples

Apples have been cultivated for thousands of years, with the first recorded mention of the fruit dating back to ancient Mesopotamia. The apple tree is believed to have originated in Central Asia, and over time, it spread throughout Europe and eventually to the Americas.

In the United States, apples have played a significant role in history. The phrase “as American as apple pie” has become a common expression, and the story of Johnny Appleseed, a pioneer who planted apple trees across the Midwest, is a beloved tale.

Popular Apple Varieties

Popular Apple Varieties

While there are thousands of apple varieties, some are more well-known than others. Here are a few popular varieties you might find at your local grocery store or farmers market:

  • Honeycrisp: Known for its sweet, juicy flavor and crisp texture.
  • Granny Smith: A tart, green apple that’s often used in baking.
  • Gala: A sweet, mild-flavored apple that’s perfect for snacking.
  • Fuji: A crisp, sweet apple that’s popular in Japan and the United States.
  • Red Delicious: A classic red apple with a mild flavor and soft texture.

For more fascinating food facts, be sure to check out

Unusual Apple Varieties

While the varieties listed above are some of the most common, there are also many unusual and lesser-known apple varieties. Here are a few examples:

  • Black Oxford: A dark purple apple with a sweet, slightly tart flavor.
  • Pink Pearl: A pink-fleshed apple with a sweet, slightly floral taste.
  • Cosmic Crisp: A new variety developed by Washington State University that’s known for its crisp texture and long shelf life.
  • Wickson Crab: A small, tart apple that’s often used for making cider.

Health Benefits of Apples

Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that can benefit your health. Here are a few reasons to incorporate more apples into your diet:

  • High in fiber: Apples are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help with digestion and weight management.
  • Rich in antioxidants: Apples contain a variety of antioxidants, including quercetin and catechin, which can help protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
  • May lower risk of diabetes: Some studies have suggested that eating apples may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • May improve brain health: The antioxidants in apples may help protect against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Cooking with Apples

Apples are incredibly versatile in the kitchen and can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Apple pie: A classic dessert that’s perfect for fall.
  • Apple sauce: A simple, healthy snack that’s easy to make at home.
  • Apple cider: A refreshing drink that’s often associated with autumn.
  • Apple and pork dishes: Apples pair well with pork, such as in a pork chop and apple sauce recipe.
  • Apple and cheese pairings: Apples and cheese are a classic combination, whether it’s a slice of cheddar on top of an apple pie or a cheese plate with sliced apples.

Apple Picking and Orchards

One of the best ways to enjoy apples is to visit an orchard and pick them yourself. Many orchards offer apple picking in the fall, along with other activities like hayrides and cider tastings.

If you’re interested in growing your own apples, it’s important to choose a variety that’s well-suited to your climate and soil type. Apples can be grown in a variety of locations, from large orchards to small backyard gardens.


From their rich history to their numerous health benefits, there’s a lot to love about apples. With over 7,500 varieties to choose from, there’s an apple out there for everyone, whether you prefer them sweet, tart, or somewhere in between.

So the next time you bite into a crisp, juicy apple, take a moment to appreciate the diversity and versatility of this beloved fruit.