Northern Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the country and the variety offered is delicious and diverse. Check out the varieties below, when each is harvested, what each tastes like and how best to use each of them.


Cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. It’s said that the Empire’s flavor, like wine, improves during storage.

Flavor: The mild tartness of a McIntosh with the sweetness of a Red Delicious.
Harvest: Mid season
Uses: Fresh, baked or applesauce. And to woo Hugh Grant-types—Empires are a favorite in the United Kingdom.

Golden Supreme

A Golden Delicious that ripens a wee bit earlier than most. The Golden Delicious has come a long way from its Clay County, West Virginia, roots to top the charts as the world’s most popular apple.

Flavor: Sweet, semi-firm.
Harvest: Early season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. Slice one up alongside a wheel of Brie.


It took the Japanese to cross two all-Americans, the Red Delicious and the Ralls Janet, and come up with, some say, a better apple. The most popular apple in Japan also enjoys strong popularity in the United States.

Flavor: Low-acid sweetness with juicy crispness.
Harvest: Late season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. Do as Japanese mothers do and turn a Fuji wedge into a lunchbox bunny-apple: peel a quartered wedge half way toward the stem end, keeping peel in one piece. With a knife, notch the peel flap in a V to look like a pair of long ears on a sleeping rabbit.


An early 19th-century cross between the McIntosh and the Ben Davis. The latter is an apple once common in America for its ability to last the winter in the cellar.

Flavor: Like a Mac but sweeter.
Harvest: Early season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. Especially well suited for fruit salads because its flesh retains its whiteness.

Red Delicious

Bright red with the perfect 5-point elongated shape, the Red Delicious is the apple’s apple the world over. Ironically, its origin is a fluke. An Iowa farmer in the late 19th century discovered the first seedling and tried to chop it down twice before giving up and letting it grow.

Flavor: Juicy, crunchy and sweet.
Harvest: Mid season
Uses: Fresh. The brown bag apple.


This cross between a Jonathon and a Golden Delicious was rated the best apple in the world by a panel of international experts in 1989. Boomer trivia: the Jonathon hit Woodstock before you did. It began as a chance seedling there in 1820.

Flavor: Firm, juicy, tart with a hint of sweet.
Harvest: Mid to late season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. Especially good as applesauce: Peel, core and thinly slice 6 Jonagolds and place in heavy saucepan covered with water. Add 1/4 C. sugar, 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1 T. maple syrup, 1 T. cinnamon. Simmer uncovered until saucy, stirring occasionally. Break up apples with a wooden spoon. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with chopped walnuts.


Named for its propagator, John McIntosh who hiked off into the Canadian wilderness in 1796 with a broken heart after his lover died unexpectedly. The wild apple saplings he transplanted on his Ontario homestead produced the first Macs.

Flavor: Sweet, tangy and oh what a scent.
Harvest: Early season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked and a must in cider.


Move over NYC, this is one Big Apple. Also known as the Crispin, the Mutsu is a cross between a Golden Delicious and the Japanese variety, Indo.

Flavor: Crunchy, juicy, tart with a hint of sweet.
Harvest: Late season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. Makes a nice impression as a caramel apple on a stick.


Bow to New Zealand for crossing its native Kidd’s Orange Red with a Golden Delicious to give us this awesome tasting apple. Don’t mistake this apple of a different shade for a peach.

Flavor: Mellow sweetness.
Harvest: Early season
Uses: Fresh, baked, cooked. The quintessential snacking apple. Or, do as Farmer Brown does and slice them on your morning cereal.

Wondering what to do with all those apples once you get them home?