There are more than 100 types of apples grown commercially in the United States. Apple season in Georgia runs mid-August through mid-October. There are 22 different types of apples typically grown in the state, and each one is harvested at a different time. Read on to find out what types of apples you can find in the state, and when to pick your favorite variety.
Types of Apples in Georgia
Although there are 100 different types of apples grown in the US, 90 percent of the production is from just 15 different varieties according to the US Apple Association. We looked through the list and found the most popular types of apples that can be found in Georgia. Here’s a bit more about Georgia’s most popular apples.
Fuji. Originally developed in Japan in the late 1930s and named after the famous Mt. Fuji, U.S.-grown Fujis began appearing in markets in the 1980s. Fuji is a cross between Ralls Janet and Red Delicious. The flavor is sweet and this apple has a nice firmness. You can usually tell a Fuji by it’s yellow and red stripped appearance.
Red Delicious. This is the apple I remember from my childhood. In fact, it is the most widely recognized of all the apple varieties in the US, probably because it’s been around since the 1870s. Red delicious is a sweet, crispy, juicy apple. This apple is best eaten fresh, and is my dad’s favorite to add to salads.
Gala. This is another relative new comer in the US and is fast becoming a favorite. It originated in New Zealand and was brought to the United States in the early 1970s. These apples are crisp, juicy, and very sweet, Gala is ideal for snacking, which is probably why it’s our go-to for lunch boxes.
Braeburn. I’ve never heard of this variety, even though it’s been around since the 1950s. Braeburn is a multipurpose apple good for all types of apple uses. Its color varies from orange to red over a yellow background. A crisp, juicy apple, the Braeburn has a rich, spicy-sweet flavor.
Honeycrisp. Another favorite in our house, this apple, developed by the University of Minnesota, has a honeyed, mild flavor. It’s crisp, juicy and sweet. Honeycrisp’s skin is a distinctive mottled red over a yellow background, with coarse flesh. This apple is good for snacking, salads and sauce-making and stores well.
Jonagold. A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, New York native Jonagold offers a unique honey-tart flavor and crispy, juicy, nearly yellow flesh. It debuted in 1968, a product of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. It’s good for eating or cooking.
Granny Smith. Another apple from my childhood. These was the ‘green ones’. The flavor is very tart, which is probably why I prefer these to the red delicious. An all-purpose apple, Grannies work equally well as a snack or in pies and sauce.
Empire. Empires premiered in 1966 in the Empire State of New York. They are a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh developed by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. This crisp, juicy apple has a delightful sweet-tart flavor and creamy white flesh, making it a good all-purpose apple.
Golden Delicious. Yellow with an occasional pink blush, Golden Delicious has a mild, sweet flavor. Golden delicious have a buttery, honey taste that is great for baking, especially when you mix them with more tart apples like Granny Smiths.
Pink Lady® Brand (Cripps Pink Variety). Developed in Western Australia, Cripps Pink is a cross of Golden Delicious and Lady Williams.
Stayman Winesap. Ok this one wasn’t on the list, but it’s my favorite. I love this crunchy tart tasting apple that makes your mouth pucker. As an added bonus, these are also good for baking too.
Best Apples for Baking and Eating
Baking. Baking apples should be able to hold their shape after being cooked. The best baking apples are Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap, Braeburn, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious and Gala.
Eating. This really depends on what type of apple you like. I enjoy tart apples, so the Winesaps are perfect for me. If you like sweet apples, you’ll enjoy Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious or Red Delicious apples.
What are your favorite apples to cook with or to just eat? Let us know in the comments.
When Apples are Ready for Picking
The season for apple picking near Atlanta begins in August and runs through mid-October. Not all apples are ready to pick at the same time, which means if you are picky about your variety of apple, you need to know when they are ripe for picking.
Below is a users guide for when certain apples are available in Georgia. This is just a guide. Apples ripen at slightly different times. Color, whether red, yellow or green doesn’t matter, it’s the type of apple that makes a difference. Ripening times also depend on the amount of rain during the spring and summer. It’s best to call the orchard before you go to see what they are picking. Here is a great list of U-Pick Apple Orchards in Georgia.
Of course, you can also pick up a peck of your favorite apples from any of the Ellijay apple houses. Even after picking is done, they usually have a few pecks for sale in the store. Some apple houses will let you try different varieties to see which one you like the best, or to try something new, so go ahead an experiment, you might find a new variety of apple to love.
Apple Varieties By The Month
July Apples: Early McIntosh are usually available in late July. They have a tart flavor and are good for eating and cooking.
Early August Apples: Early August you can find Gala, which are very sweet and good for eating fresh, as well as apple pies. Ginger Gold’s are sweet eating apples and Detroit Red and Ozark Gold are tart cooking apples.
Mid August Apples: Lots of popular apple varieties are available mid-late August including: McIntosh, Jonathon, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, and Honey Crisp (my son’s new favorite). McIntosh is a sweet/tart apple good for cooking and eating. Jonathan’s are tart and best for cooking. The bright Red and Golden Delicious some of the most popular varieties. These are sweet eating apples, as is the Honey Crisp. Empire are tart cooking apples.
Early September Apples: Mutsu and Jonagold are early September apples. Both are sweet/tart and good for cooking, as well as eating.
Mid September Apples: Rome Beauty and my favorite the Stayman Wine Sap are mid September apples. Rome is slightly tart, while Stayman’s can make your pucker. Both of these apples are great for cooking pies, making apple butter, and eating.
Early October Apples: Granny Smith are tart eating/cooking apples available in early October.
Mid October Apples: Fuji, which I love and Arkansas Black, which I don’t are available in mid October. The Fuji is a very sweet medium sized apple, but the Arkansas Black are super hard tart apples.
Late October Apples: Yates, Brae Burn and Pink Lady are all sweet apples available in late October.
More Fall Fun in Georgia:
Pumpkin Patches | Corn Mazes| Haunted Corn Mazes | Apple Picking | Apple Festival | Haunted Houses | Fall Festivals | Ghost Tours | Halloween Events | Fall Bucket List | Fall Color at the State Parks | Scary Escape Rooms