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Too Many Cooks: What's the Best Apple?

By • October 19, 2012 • 17 Comments

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You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

What's the best apple? That's the important, autumnal question that we're answering this week. Childhood memories, honeycrisps, and explanation points loom large, although some of us (ahem, Amanda) would prefer no apples at all.

Which variety of apple do you like best for eating out of hand? Tell us in the comments!


Merrill: Honeycrisp. Also, winesap.

Kristy: I was going to say exactly what Merrill said.

Kenzi: Winesap! Bam.

Brette: Pink lady! Just like me when I'm embarrassed!

Amanda: How about none?


Jennifer: Macoun -- hands down!

Ryan: Granny Smith. I've always been an apple pie lover, so much that I would request them in lieu of a birthday cake as a child. More specifically, I love my grandmother's recipe that consisted of sharp, crisp Granny Smiths with a butter-laden crumble topping.

Amanda Li: Mutsu!

Marian: Honeycrisp!

Stephanie: Honeycrisp!


Christina: Fuji.

Maddy: Gold Rush!

Peter: Ambrosia is a newfound favorite but an accessible mainstay is a thick slice of Granny Smith with a heavy-handed schmear of Prince La Fontaine or Pierre Robert (what can I say? I'm a sucker for a bloomy triple crème).


Molly: Cortland!

Nozlee: (Whispered) Golden Delicious.

Tags: too many cooks, food52 staff, apples, winesap, cortland, honeycrisp, red delicious

Comments (17)

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over 1 year ago jeanmarieok

Black Twig apples are my absolute favorite. And they were Andrew Jackson's, too...

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over 1 year ago Bakermom1

I grew up in New York State and pined for Macouns when we moved to the Midwest. However after a recent visit to upstate New York, I have to admit that both of Minnesota's apples the Honeycrisp and the newer Sweetango beat my old favorite hands down.

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over 1 year ago kitchenwlittleb

Honeycrisp hands down. I can eat them all day long and funny thing is I'm not usually an apple fan...

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over 1 year ago calendargirl

Macouns when we lived in New England; Honeycrisps here in the mid-Atlantic. And as the winter winds down, Braeburns from New Zealand keep things going longer.

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over 1 year ago thirschfeld

The Duchess of Oldenburg, the Razor Russet and York Imperials

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over 1 year ago jacksonholefoodie

The Elliot has recently won me over nudging the honeycrisp out of its #1 spot. I just brought home a case of these smallish blond apples--super tart and crisp, perfect for snacking and making chutney and apple cake.

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over 1 year ago soupcon

Early macs, greenings, grannysmiths, honeycrisps, and spys. All of them tart and crisp.

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over 1 year ago cookinginvictoria

I'm with dymnyno -- Gravensteins are my favorite apple -- so delicious and versatile. We are lucky enough to have a very old Gravenstein tree in our yard. The apples that it produces are divine. However, my favorite apple discovery at the greenmarket this fall has been the Sweet 16 apple -- very crisp and sweet.

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over 1 year ago arcane54

We used to have an elderly farmer at our fresh market who would lecture me about how to store the heirloom varieties he carried ("always refrigerate!") while I enjoyed seeing them on my table. Among my favorites: Blanc d'Iver, Belle de Boskoop and Ashmead's Kernel (forgive my spelling errors).

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Pink Pearl - crisp, tart-sweet, with yellowish skin and striated pink flesh - love at first bite.

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over 1 year ago emarie

I'm in the Macoun camp, but there's nothing like a first of the season Ginger Gold!

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

Before Sonoma County became famous for its vineyards it was one of the largest apple growing regions in the country. The most famous apple is/was the Gravenstein...the highway leading into the town of Sebastopol is called the Gravenstein Highway. I made sure to plant at least a couple of Gravenstein apple trees among my other varieties and they are hands down my all time favorite apple. Unfortunately, they don't travel well, so if you want to taste one you will have to visit us.

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over 1 year ago Galapagos

Stayman Winesap.

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over 1 year ago zahavah

Honeycrisp, hands down...for munching (or dipping in peanut butter). But, awful for tarte tatin unless you want an applesauce tarte tatin. Happy to share recipe link (pomegranate apple tarte tatin) and/or write it up here for any who want it.

Also, Amanda - no apples for you?

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over 1 year ago Francesca Murphy

Reneittes and Pink Ladies.

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over 1 year ago wahimom

We LOVE fresh SweeTangos and good Zestars.
HoneyCrisps are divine.
Hard pressed to choose between the SweeTango and the HoneyCrisp, but HoneyCrisps seem to keep longer.

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over 1 year ago chris_coyle

I'm with Jennifer ... nothing beats a Macoun. They're very crisp and sweet - it's like eating a candy apple without the guilt of the candy part.