From the NFMA archives we found these tips and tricks for shopping for apples from the University of Minnesota Extension. Read them here and let us know if you have more to share!
When selecting apples, look for fruit that is well colored for its variety. Red overcolor is not as important as the background color, which is the best visual indicator of ripeness. The background color (the area not covered by red pigment on red varieties) should be greenish yellow, indicating that the apple was picked at full maturity. Apples with a dark green background color may have been picked before they were fully ripe, and will not be as flavorful, although they may last longer in storage. Yellow apples have no red pigment covering their background color, so maturity is easier to judge.
Apples with punctures or bruises should be avoided or used first, since they will not store as well. Surface blemishes that do not penetrate the skin, such as russetting, have very little influence on fruit quality or storage life. Although apples are fairly durable fruits, take care to avoid bruising them.
Apple storage life is primarily influenced by temperature and humidity. Apples will last the longest in storage, and retain best quality, when kept close to 32ºF. Although garages, basements, and root cellars may provide adequate storage conditions, the best place to store apples is usually in a refrigerator.
Warmer temperatures always shorten the storage life of apples. Apples stored near 32ºF will last about 8 to 10 times longer than apples stored at room temperature.
Humidity helps reduce the shriveling of apples in storage. If the storage environment is low in humidity, as most refrigerators are, the fruit should be stored in a perforated plastic bag or a covered container.
Although apples may be displayed in a fruit bowl at room temperature for a short period, such conditions will dramatically reduce their usable life.
Nutritive Value of Apples
Apples can play an important role in home cookery and nutrition. An average apple contains about 90 calories, and small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Pectin and fiber aid intestinal activity.
Apples are thirst quenching because they contain about 85% water. They are a perfect snack food because their natural sugars provide quick energy, while the bulky pulp makes the eater feel full.
How Many Apples?
One pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium, or 4 to 5 small; about 3 cups peeled and cut-up fruit. Two pounds of apples = enough for one nine-inch pie.
One bushel of apples = 40 pounds or about 100 to 120 medium fruits. Enough for 20 nine-inch pies, 15 to 20 quarts of applesauce or slices.
From the University of Minnesota Extension Website
In honor of our annual event, Applelooza, we have a few fun facts about Washington's pride and joy: the apple! Join us at University District Farmers Market on October 6 to taste all sorts of interesting varieties of apples, from 10am-12pm.
See you there!