There’s no shortage of apple varieties at your local grocery store, but sometimes, all those choices can make it hard to decide what kind of apple to buy.
We’ve already broken down our picks for the best apples for baking, but what about the best apple varieties to enjoy raw? Whether on a salad, as a snack, or on charcuterie boards, there’s a few things to consider when selecting the kind of apple to use in uncooked applications.
You’ll likely want a variety with a crisp texture and balanced flavor, or maybe you want a tart apple for a pop of brightness. We’ll break down the flavor and texture profiles of several types of apples, so that you can more easily select the right one for your snacking tastes.
Our Favorite Apple Varieties To Snack On
Sink your teeth into these delicious apple varieties perfect for lunch boxes, on-the-go snacking, and more.
Flavor: Juicy and sweet-tart.
Texture: As the name would imply, very crisp.
Honeycrisp are super popular and for a good reason. Striking the right balance of sweet and tangy, with a wonderful crunchy bite, they’re delicious enjoyed on their own. Their beautiful red skin with yellow undertones also makes them a gorgeous addition to salads or snack boards.
Flavor: Sweet-sharp taste, with floral notes.
Texture: Crisp and firm.
This apple is a hybrid of Braeburn and Gala apples, and as a result is loaded with flavor. It’s an ideal snacking apple because it’s balanced, but not bland. It also has a nice firm texture for a satisfying crunch. Its texture makes it a great choice for baking too, as it holds its shape quite well in pies, crisps, and more.
Flavor: Super sweet and juicy.
Texture: Crisp and firm.
Developed in Japan in the 1930s (and named for its hometown of Fujisaki, Japan) this apple lands on the sweeter end of the spectrum. If you find sweet-tart apples a little too tangy, then this might be the variety for you. (Kids tend to love its sweetness.) Fuji apples are naturally quite juicy, too. This variety is also a lovely apple for baking, especially when grated and stirred into a batter, as it adds lots of moisture to baked goods.
Our Favorite Apple Varieties for Salads
While there is a lot overlap between the kinds of apples that are best for snacking and for salads, there are a few varieties we wanted to highlight as particularly ideal for adding to your favorite leafy greens.
Flavor: Sweet-tart, similar to a Honeycrisp.
This variety is ideal for salads as it takes longer for its bright white flesh to oxidize (turn brown). It also makes it a great choice for pre-slicing for lunchboxes. It will lend any salad a hint of fruity sweetness, without being too sugary.
Flavor: More sweet than tart.
Texture: Firm but not too hard.
The sweet flavor of this apple pairs well with lemony vinaigrettes, or a simple drizzle of balsamic on a salad. Its thin skin is easy to bite through, meaning you there’s no need to worry about peeling this apple before tossing it into the mix.
Flavor: Delicately sweet, honey-flavored.
Texture: Softer crunch.
The cream-colored flesh of this apple doesn’t brown quickly, much like Pink Lady apples, making it ideal for salads and other recipes where it will be sliced or chopped. Named for the food of the gods, this apple will lend sweetness to a salad and help balance out bitter greens or super savory mix-ins.
Apples That Are Best for Cooking or Baking
Although all kinds of apples can be enjoyed raw, some varieties really shine when cooked.
Flavor: Super tart, with bright acidic notes.
Texture: Firm and crisp.
Although Granny Smith can add a nice pop of brightness to salads, unless you really like tart apples, they’re not the best to snack on solo. Where this variety really shines is in baking, as its natural acidity balances sweet doughs and batters. It also holds it shape quite well, for distinctive pieces of apples in baked goods.
Flavor: Sweet like honey, with mellow spice notes.
Although also good for snacking, we really love the way this apple bakes up. It retains its texture when cooked, and its mellow flavor makes it a delicious addition to both sweet and savory cooking. It’s a great all-purpose apple to always keep on hand.