When it comes to general pantry fruit, the first things that spring to mind are apples and bananas. Bananas, at least at our nearby supermarkets, are just on a big display island with very little variety. If I want any, I’ll just pick up the bunch that has the exact amount of bananas I want on it, and call it a day.
But apples? There are so many, with lots of cool names, like Pink Lady, Fuji, Empire, Cosmic Crisp, and a billion more. When I looked deep inside myself, something occurred to me: I don’t know shit about apples. Even the basic stuff, other than the fact that we used to have Red Delicious apples at home when I was a kid and I didn’t like them very much because they were always so mealy.
This guide from The Daily Meal covers 15 apple varieties and their basic uses in the kitchen. Take McIntosh, for example. I see them every time I go to the store. I had no idea they were ideal for applesauce! Braeburn apples cook well, so those are the kind you want to pair with pork, apparently.
Also—and this is huge—the person who discovered Granny Smith apples was an Australian actually named Granny Smith. This is probably the best thing I’m going to learn all day. I’m sure there’s a deep rabbit hole of apple knowledge out there. There’s a MasterClass from Alice Waters, fun facts about apples here (there are apples with red flesh?), and yes, there are apple enthusiasts who search for heirloom varieties.
That’s it. My day is done. I’m just going to spend the rest of it clicking on all things apples.