Empire

Flavor: Sweet with a little vinous flavor

Approximate Ripening: Late September

Uses: Eating and general all-purpose use; freeze to extend life

Trivia: Developed at Cornell University in 1945, Empire is a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh.  The apple was released to market in 1966 and now accounts for roughly 60% of New York apple exports.

Notes: Empire is one of northeast America’s most popular apples.  It combines two classics into an attractive package: a deep maroon over a pale green background.  The shading comes from Red Delicious, while the hint of vinous flavor comes from McIntosh.  Empire’s are sized perfectly for children’s lunchboxes, and since they’re nice and sweet they make a perfect substitute for sugary snacks.