Far from being a ‘forbidden fruit’ there are more than 2.6 billion apples grown in Australia each year, with the majority being consumed domestically. In recent years the most dominant varieties have been Granny Smith and Pink Lady™, which between them accounted for approximately 55% of total production. However like any food, trends come and go, so here is an overview of the top varieties and what they’re good for.
At a Glance
Selection: Look for firm, smooth skin with no dark/soft spots
Storage: Apples love the cold, refrigerate to retain juiciness and crispness
Characteristics: Crisp, fine, sweet flesh
Best for: Cooking(salads, sauces and pies) due to the high sugar content
Background: Cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. To be sold as Pink Lady™ it must meet quality standards set out by the Dept of Agriculture and Food, WA.
Characteristics: Crisp tart, tangy flavour that gets sweeter as it matures
Best for: Baking, freezing, salads, sauces and pies.
Background: An Australian native discovered in 1868 by “Granny” Anne Smith of Ryde, NSW. One parent is believed to be the French crab apple.
Characteristics: Juicy and aromatic- slightly sweeter than Delicious apples
Best for: Sauces but is also tasty fresh and in salads
Background: Royal Gala and Gala originated in NZ in the 1930s as a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious.
Characteristics: Sweet and rich
Best for: Eating fresh and baking
Background: Originated in 1912 in West Virginia, USA
Characteristics: Refreshing mild sweetness
Best for: Salads and desserts
Background: Originated in Iowa, USA in the early 1870’s
Characteristics: Crisp and juicy with sweet honey tones
Best for: Eating fresh, baking and stewing
Background: Fuji originated in Japan where it is a major variety.
Characteristics: Sweet and distinctive
Best for: Eating fresh, also good for baking as it keeps its shape
Background: Cripps Red (sold as Sundowner™) is related to Pink Lady™ and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. Originated in WA.
Characteristics: crunchy, tangy and sweet
Best for: Snacking on the go, though
Background: One of the newest varieties on the market, Jazz™ apples were launched in Australia in 2009 and are a cross between Gala and Braeburn.