The apple tree originated in Central Asia, from where it has spread all over the world. Thousands of apple cultivars and scores of apple varieties are produced commercially today. The apple combines several advantages, all of which have resulted in its popularity: it is aesthetically appealing, it is easy to eat, it contains many health benefits and it has many culinary uses.
The Red Delicious is a very famous variety. It is not related to the Golden Delicious, despite the name. It is one of the most important commercial varieties, primarily due to its visual appeal. The flavor is sweet, but the texture is not as crisp as some other apples.
One of the most popular supermarket apples, the Golden Delicious is a variety that was discovered in the United States more than 100 years ago. It has been crossed with other varieties to produce many descendant varieties. Some consider the taste of this apple to be bland, but when eaten fairly fresh the apple has a very sweet and rich taste.
The Granny Smith is one of the most well-known apples in the world. It was discovered in Australia in the mid-19th century. The tart flavor lends itself well to all kinds of cooking, and its attractive green appearance and crisp flesh make it excellent for eating as well.
The Fuji apple was developed in Japan and is descended from the Red Delicious and the Ralls Janet. Its pink and yellow-green coloring is considered very attractive in the market, and so it is not surprising that the Fuji apple is very popular with growers, especially in Asia. In China, the leading apple producer in the world, Fuji apples account for more than 70 percent of the crop.
The Empire apple is a cross between the McIntosh and Red Delicious varieties. More than half of all apples grown in New York--the state with the second highest number of apples grown in the U.S.--are Empire apples. This cultivar was created at Cornell University. It is No. 9 in U.S. production.
This variety is one of the top 20 apple varieties (by amount produced) in the world. Produced from a cross between the McIntosh and Ben Davis cultivars more than 90 years ago, it is still a popular apple. The tree is known for its hardiness in cold temperatures, and the apple is excellent for inclusion in salads due to its browning-resistant flesh.
The Pink Lady apple is a well-known modern apple. The name Pink Lady is actually its brand name, however, as the apple is always grown under license. The actual variety name is Cripps Pink. The apple has an aesthetically interesting appearance and the quality of apples sold under the name is closely regulated. It is a cross between Lady Williams and Golden Delicious.
The Jazz apple is another modern variety. It is a cross between the Gala and Braeburn varieties. Jazz apples are well-known for their high-quality taste. As with the Pink Lady, the common name of the apple is not actually the name of the variety. It is technically of the Scifresh variety. It is not yet widely available.