Your Guide to Apple Picking in Georgia

August 23, 2017

Here in Georgia, we love our apples

Fall is right around the corner which means one thing for every Georgian: Apple Picking season is finally upon us! AP season stretches from mid-August to mid-October and can be celebrated in many orchards around north Georgia. Enjoy the fresh air and fill your home with scents of the season – it’s a win-win situation. Apple Pies and fresh apple salads adorned with these hand-picked beauties are in your future, and to be educated before you frolic in the orchards, see below for our list of Georgia’s most popular apple varieties.

Types of Apples in Georgia & Best Time to Pick Them

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 apple is known from childhood lunchroom experiences. 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 a 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 a go-to for lunch boxes.

Braeburn. This variety has 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 for Catalyst Home Team, 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 favorite from childhood. These were the ‘green ones’. The flavor is very tart, which is probably why most people 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. These 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.

Best Apples for Baking and Eating

Baking. Baking apples should be able to hold it’s 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. If you like sweet apples, you’ll enjoy Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious or Red Delicious apples.


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