Apple Varieties From California

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The Granny Smith apple originated in Australia.
The Granny Smith apple originated in Australia. (Image: Media Bank/Photos.com/Getty Images)

California is one of the six top apple-producing states in the U.S. and is the country’s second largest exporter of apples, according to the California Apple Commission. California ships about 70 percent of its commercially produced apples within the U.S., and the remainder is exported to more than 60 countries. California grows more varieties of apples than any area of the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains, including a few that are unique to the state.

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Gala

The Gala apple’s 14 to 16 percent sugar content gives the apple a sweet, fruity taste with a crisp texture. The Gala, which comes from New Zealand, was parented by the Kidds Orange Red and Golden Delicious varieties and introduced into the United States in 1972, according to the California Apple Commission. The round-shaped Gala’s color ranges from cream to cherry-red and the apple has a strong aroma. Galas are available for purchase or shipping from mid-July through December.

Fuji

The Fuji, originally bred in Japan as a cross between the Ralls Janet and Red Delicious varieties, is a juicy, crisp apple with a 16 to 18 percent sugar content. The Fuji is a large, or extra large, rounded apple that often has red striping through its golden-red color. Fujis are suitable for baking, according to the California Apple Commission, and the apples hold up well since the interior is crisp and dense. California’s Fuji apples are available from September through April.

Granny Smith

The Granny Smith variety, which originated in mid 1860 Australia, is sweet, tart and crisp, with 12 to 18 percent sugar content. Tree-ripened Granny Smiths are sweeter. The medium-to-large-sized Granny Smith apple is green with a bottom that is a little smaller than the top. Granny Smith apples will keep in storage without refrigeration for several months. They are good for cooking and eating, according to the California Apple Commission, and are available from August though June.

Cripps Pink Lady

The Cripps Pink variety of the Pink Lady brand of apples is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Lady Williams apples. The apple is grown in California’s Cuyama Valley and San Joaquin Valley. The Cripps Pink Lady, which is pink in color, is sweet, tart and crunchy, according to the California Apple Commission. The apple has a dense, white interior, holds up well for storage and is available from October through April.

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