Step Aside, Red Delicious: Try These Apple Orchard Favorites Instead

If some fall apple-picking trips are in your future, find out what the U.S. Apple Association says are the top apples to look for this year.

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Who's America's Favorite Apple?

Originating in Iowa in the 1870s, for more than 50 years the Red Delicious apple has been the number one apple in America. But over the years, Red Delicious has also had a fair number of detractors. Some have called it "tasteless" and seen the apple as a symptom of the industrial farm move to grow produce that looks more appealing on supermarket shelves than it tastes. But this year, that glossy red-skinned classic was unseated by the Gala apple as America's most popular apple according to the U.S. Apple Association. Read on to see the top 5 apples in America as well as a host of other popular varieties.

#1 Gala

With its mild, sweet and juicy flesh, the Gala is currently the favorite American apple according to the U.S. Apple Association. Galas were introduced to the United States in the 1970s and are a cross between Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious apples.

#2 Red Delicious

For decades the Red Delicious was the most popular American apple. But today's consumer is looking for apples that are sweeter and crunchier and the market is flooded with plenty of interesting varieties that fit the bill.

#3 Granny Smith

The third most popular apple in America, the Granny Smith is an Australian native with a tart flavor that makes it a staple for baking.

#4 Fuji

This popular eating apple is sweet and juicy and ranks in the fourth slot as America's favorite apple. In many ways synonymous with the history of America, apples were some of the earliest crops planted by colonists in this country. Named for Japan's Mt. Fuji, the Fuji was developed in Japan in the 1930s but didn't make its way to America until the 1980s. It's a cross between a Red Delicious and a Ralls Janet and features a distinctive yellow and red color.

#5 Honeycrisp

Released in 1991, the Honeycrisp is a rising contender for favorite American apple. Growers have predicted that by 2020 this crisp apple with its juicy flavor and sweet but balanced bite will be in the top 3 most popular apple picks. The apples ripen in early fall, but store like a late season variety, keeping for up to 7 months. Continue reading to learn about some of America's other most popular apple varieties which make up, along with Red Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Fuji, 90% of America's apple output.

McIntosh

These apples are sweet and juicy with a slightly pink flesh and were discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh, who bequeated them his name. The McIntosh is popular for snacking, applesauce and in pies.

Jonagold

These apples are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious and debuted in 1968 as a product of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

Macoun

The tough outer skin of the Macoun gives way to crunchy white flesh and an apple perfect for applesauce, snacking and apple cider.

Empire

The Empire appeared in 1966, originating in the Empire State, New York. These apples are a cross between a McIntosh and a Red Delicious.

Pink Lady

Commonly known by its retail name Pink Lady, the Cripps Pink is a combination of Lady Williams and Golden Delicious apples.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia is "food or drink of the Gods" in Greek and this apple's delicious honey flavor and floral aroma have won over mere mortals too.

Golden Delicious

Adored by fans for its mild, sweet flavor, the Golden Delicious is great in apple pies and crisps especially when combined with tart apples like Granny Smith.

Cameo

With its bright, lemony flavor, the Cameo is a great snacking apple.

Paula Red

Sweet and tart, this blushing yellow and red beauty hails from Michigan. It is an early ripener and can be found as early as August in some locations.

Cortland

This 120-year-old apple variety is tart and known to brown more slowly than most apples when sliced.

Crispin

Developed in Japan, the Crispin was originally named Mutsu and renamed in the Sixties for its sublime crispness.

Jazz

Sweet like the Honeycrisp, this delicious-smelling apple is available year-round.

Braeburn

Developed in New Zealand in the 1950s, the Braeburn has a spicy-sweet flavor and is incredibly versatile, good for all uses in cooking, snacking, salads and pies.

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