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Food

Apple Season: All Kinds of Apples

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Nothing says autumn like apples. Biting into a crisp, colorful skin is like the crisp (well, non-Californian) air of fall, and some of the wonderful dishes you can make using apples have that warm sweetness that soothes the bite of the ravaging elements. For us as kids, autumn and apple season meant a pilgrimage to a public apple farm outside Toronto where we would pick baskets of apples right off the trees, and then go home and make pie and applesauce. (Okay, we admit that we'd usually make so damn much applesauce that we got sick of it, but that's outside the scope of this warm fuzzy moment.) So now that autumn is on our calendars, apples are in full season. LAist has assembled this guide to some of the varieties that are just coming into season now, and throughout the week we'll give you some recipes you can use them in. Some of these varieties might not show up on the displays of your neighborhood grocery mega-store, so check here for a farmer's market near you, and try out some of fall's favorite fruit.

Jonathan
A small, all-purpose deep red apple with yellow undertones, and firm but juicy yellow flesh. In season: September-spring.

McIntosh
A green-red, juicy, mildly tart apple. Best raw, quickly sautéed, or made into sauce (turns mushy when overcooked). Throw one in your lunch bag, but best leave this softer variety out of pies. In season: September-spring.

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Stayman
All-purpose apple with purplish red skin and mildly tart, juicy flesh. In season: September-spring.

Cortland
Larger, with deep purple-red skin and white flesh. Good raw or baked in pies. In season: September-spring.

Empire
Cross of the McIntosh with the Red Delicious. It is a crisp, juicy, fragrant apple with relatively thick skin. For eating fresh or making sauce--anything that's near to a McIntosh will be too soft for baking. In season: September-spring.

Idared
Red-skinned apple with a mild flavor. Good for any use. In season: September-early spring.

Macoun
A tart, juicy apple with red/green skin. Very good eaten raw. In season: September-November.

Newtown Pippin
This tart green apple is a very old American variety. Most often used in cooking but is also suitable for eating raw. In season: September-February.

Rome Beauty
This large, red or red-striped apple holds its shape well, so it's perfect for baking whole. In season: October-July.

York
Also known as York Imperial. Has pink-red skin, often with pale spots. Flesh is yellow, tart but sweet, and fairly juicy. Best used for baking. In season: October-spring.

Winesap
One of the oldest varieties in the United States, and is considered a great all-purpose apple. It has a tangy, wine-like flavor. The flesh is firm and juicy, the skin a deep red-purple. In season: October-July.

Northern Spy
Large red-green apple with firm, tart yellow flesh. Great for using in pies. In season: Late fall-early winter.