With many different varieties of apples grown around the world, Washington State grows the majority of apples consumed by Americans. Whatever the color or variety you choose, look for bruise-free fruit with firm, shiny skin. Since apples are a hardy fruit they are available year-around, new crop apples are available from summer's end through late fall.
Ideal storage for apples, are under refrigeration between 34-38 F, where they can last up to 90 days. At room temperature apples ripen within a day or two, so if you consume them in a few days they are fine on the counter. Apples will absorb odors produced by potatoes, bulb onions, or any strong flavored item. When apples ripen, they emit a lot of ethylene gas, which causes other fruit and vegetables to ripen faster so it is recommended to keep them in their own crisper.
Most apples are consumed fresh, but some are canned or used for juice. Another popular use of apples is in baking because they blend so well with a variety of spices and flavors. Apples complement pork, squash, and a range of cheeses.