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Seasonal Produce Pick: Apple Harvest Up, Fall Sales Opportunities Strong

VIENNA, VA (Oct. 1)—The apple harvest is in full swing, and now's the time to ramp up sales of this perennial fall favorite. But selling apples today means knowing more about the category than ever before, especially the differences in flavor and performance of the many varieties now readily available. It's no longer just Granny Smith and Red Delicious.

According to the U.S. Apple Association, which says this year's harvest will be up 4 percent over last year's, the top 10 varieties from across the nation are:

  1. Red Delicious. Sweet, crispy and juicy; great for a snack or tossed in salads.
  2. Golden Delicious. Mellow and sweet; a wonderful pie apple and also good in salads.
  3. Gala. Crispy, juicy, very sweet; good for snacking or for applesauce.
  4. Granny Smith. Green flesh, very tart flavor; best for baking and pies.
  5. Fuji. Sweet flavor and firmness; try it in a salad, for sauce or just to snack on.
  6. McIntosh. Juicy, tangy, and tart with a tender, white flesh; a great applesauce apple.
  7. Rome. Mildly tart apple; primarily used for cooking.
  8. Empire. Crisp, juicy with a sweet-tart flavor and creamy white flesh; a well known snacking apple.
  9. Ida Red. Tangy flavor and firm texture; good for snacking and baking.
  10. Braeburn. Crisp, juicy with a rich, spicy-sweet flavor; great for baking and on salads.

When selling apples, find out how the operator plans to use them and what flavor profile he or she is after, then help match menu needs to the right varieties. For pictorial variety charts, as well as storage and handling tips, nutrition information, menu ideas and recipes to share with operators, visit www.usapple.org.

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