Apple Selection and StorageThe freshest apples are available from September through November, although most varieties are available year-round. Purchase well-colored apples that are firm, with a fresh (not musty) fragrance. Skins should be smooth, with no bruises or gouges.
You may notice some apples with a dry, tan or brown-colored areas on the skin. This is known as "scald," and it usually has no effect on the flavor of the apple. Be sure to choose the right type of apple for your specific dish.
Before consuming, lightly scrub apples in cool water to remove the light wax coating and any potential leftover insecticides or buy the more expensive organically-grown apples if you are queasy about such things.
Once cut, apples will discolor if left open to the air. To avoid discoloration, dip in an ascorbic juice (such as pineapple or lemon) or powder. Golden Delicious apples tend to resist browning after cutting, so they are a good choice for garnishes and appetizer trays.
In general, store apples in a cool, dark place. If you are lacking a cold cellar, place the apples in a plastic bag and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Apples can also be canned and/or frozen. Consult this handy chart for apple varieties and usage information.
More About Apples and Recipes: Apple Selection and Storage
Apple Equivalents, Measures, and Substitutions
Apples and Health
Apples Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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