Apples are versatile tree fruits sold in many varieties for cooking or eating raw. Among the most popular are the slightly tart, red-skinned Rome; the slightly tart, green-skinned pippin and Granny Smith; the mildly tart, red-skinned Jonathan; and the sweet, yellow-skinned Golden Delicious. Controlled storage ensures a good supply of apples the year around. Choose firm, unblemished fruit; store in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place.
There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including in cooking, fresh eating and cider production. Domestic apples are generally propagated by grafting, although wild apples grow readily from seed. Trees are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means.