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I eat 2-3 apples a day and use them in various recipes - usually desert or pork related.

I have found that I am literally terrible at picking out apples though and seem to be getting no better.

What I am looking for:

  1. Crisp - this is a deal-breaker for me. If it is mushy, I don't want it. I have a hard time eating a slightly mangy apple no matter the actual taste of it. These have to get mashed up into a dish.

  2. Sour - I would like the apples to be as sour as possible - within reason. I have never had an apple be too sour so I going with the assumption that anything goes here.

  3. Sweet - Not overly sweet and not overpowering honey taste but sweet.

  4. Thin skin - I like the skin. I however don't like to be able to measure the thickness of the skin.

I am looking for what type of apples (I have a few favorites but even in those it is hit or miss), season, size, coloring, or anything else that helps identify a good from a bad apple.

  • the answers to these questions might be helpful (I was going to link to the same serious eats article both list). cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/33316/… and cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/39481/… – NadjaCS Nov 11 '15 at 19:46
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    Which varieties do you like? Based on your description I can't imagine you wanting to eat anything but a Granny Smith (though it has pretty thick skin). Unfortunately this apple doesn't soften as nicely when cooked, where a Macintosh or similar would be better. – Catija Nov 11 '15 at 19:53
  • @Catija - you are like the apple whisper. I love the granny smith but hate its skin. I ran into a batch of granny smith a couple of months ago that skin was so thick it was akin to leather of a jacket. I haven't gone back to the granny smith since then even though it offers the highest reward. – blankip Nov 11 '15 at 22:52
  • I'm tall, and always reach to the back of the apple cart, on the theory that Little Old Ladies who know their apples will cull all the good ones from the front. – Daniel Griscom Nov 14 '15 at 23:49
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Buy a couple of each type available at your local fruit and vegetable markets, label, test, and record

Apples are different around the world, and are seasonal. Out of season apples are pretty terrible to me

Once you identify your target apple, buy them in bulk when they are in season, cook them to your liking, and freeze or bottle

The freezing of cooked apples is less soul destroying than the long term storage in gassed fridges that the suppliers will have to do to sell you "apples" all year around

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When I buy apples I also like to go for the most crispy ones. To find these, what I do is I flick the apples with my finger and listen to the sound it makes. You will be looking for a clear, 'high pitch' sound. Try flicking different apples and you will notice the difference between the sounds. The ones that are more mushy make a soft, 'low pitch' sound. Hope this helps!

  • This sounds really interesting. Will people look at me funny and will I hurt/bruise the produce by doing this. Let's just assume people aren't already looking at me funny which they are. – blankip Nov 11 '15 at 22:53

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