Fighting For Rank: Which Apple Color Takes The Cake?

Apples come in all shapes and sizes, but which color is top-tier?

Grae Stockhausen, Features Editor

Apples have taken over as the staple seasonal food since the leaves shift to warmer hues and the air has become crisper. Orchards begin opening up and showing their wide variety of apples, ranging from Gala to McIntosh. With this variety of apples comes a plethora of colors, and what better way to spend autumn than arguing about which apple color has the better taste to it? 

Commonly, apples come in a variety of five colors, green, red, yellow, white, and striped. The most frequently seen are green and red in commercial settings, but hop over to an apple orchard and you’ll have a chance to see all five. In Northwest Indiana, the most frequented color is reddish-yellow, with the close second being green. There are some striped and multicolored ones, with mixtures of red and green or yellow and green. There are few yellow apples and little to no white apples in NWI. 

Not only does the color of the apple matter, but the way it tastes does too. The color of an apple also affects its flavoring, and the differences are pretty apparent. From personal experience, red apples are always the sweetest with a nice crunch, while yellow apples are sweet and tart at the same time, but with a more watery flavor. Green apples are sour and crispy and white apples are too hard to even bite into sometimes, with the flavor bitter and unpleasant. Striped apples are similar to yellow apples in the sense that they too are sweet and sour, but without the watery feeling. 

The reason for this difference in flavors is not exclusive to apple types, but also the sunlight exposure and how long they’ve been left to grow. Apples that haven’t been on the branch for long will come out underdeveloped, also called early apples. These are commonly yellow and white apples. Green and red apples have most likely been on the branch for a while, as their color was given time to fully develop. Sunlight plays into the development of the color and apple, but can also cause an apple to become hot and watery. And since no one likes a soggy apple, it’s important to make sure that the apple doesn’t get watery.