Too Many Cooks: What's the Best Apple?

October 19, 2012

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.

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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.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jeanmarieok
  • Bakermom1
  • kitchenwlittleb
  • calendargirl
  • thirschfeld
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


jeanmarieok October 21, 2012
Black Twig apples are my absolute favorite. And they were Andrew Jackson's, too...
Bakermom1 October 21, 2012
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.
kitchenwlittleb October 21, 2012
Honeycrisp hands down. I can eat them all day long and funny thing is I'm not usually an apple fan...
calendargirl October 21, 2012
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.
thirschfeld October 21, 2012
The Duchess of Oldenburg, the Razor Russet and York Imperials
Brain H. October 21, 2012
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.
soupcon October 20, 2012
Early macs, greenings, grannysmiths, honeycrisps, and spys. All of them tart and crisp.
cookinginvictoria October 20, 2012
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.
arcane54 October 20, 2012
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).
hardlikearmour October 19, 2012
Pink Pearl - crisp, tart-sweet, with yellowish skin and striated pink flesh - love at first bite.
emarie October 19, 2012
I'm in the Macoun camp, but there's nothing like a first of the season Ginger Gold!
dymnyno October 19, 2012
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.
Galapagos October 19, 2012
Stayman Winesap.
zahavah October 19, 2012
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?
Francesca M. October 19, 2012
Reneittes and Pink Ladies.
wahimom October 19, 2012
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.
chris_coyle October 19, 2012
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.