By Esther Sung
While there are thousands of different apples in the world, we've rounded up 11 that represent the diversity found in today's marketplace. Some, like Red and Golden Delicious, are tried-and-true favorites in the United States; others such as Cameo and Fuji are relative newcomers to the apple scene.
The fruit has been evolving for centuries: "Modern" apples have been cultivated for qualities such as shape, taste, and high production yield, but also for their resistance to pests and disease. In 1892, there were about 735 different varieties; now fewer than 50 are mass-grown. Because of renewed interest in older—and sometimes regional—varieties, "heirlooms" such as Northern Spy, Gravenstein, Canadian Strawberry, and Newtown Pippin can be found at farmers' markets or local orchards. To grow your own apples, visit the local garden nursery or purchase the trees from online purveyors such as Trees of Antiquity, Fedco Trees, and Century Farm Orchards.
For buying and preparation advice, check out our guide to cooking with apples.
Check out the slideshow above to see our visual guide to apples.