Most apples are harvested in Australia from early autumn to early winter.
The most recognisable varieties for eating fresh apples include Red Delicious, sweet Golden Delicious, tart and green Granny Smith and the red-and-yellow-streaked Royal Gala. Bakers seek out varieties such as Pink Lady and Fuji for their sturdy texture that balance sweetness with pronounced tartness. Look for unbroken skin with good colour and no soft brown spots. Whenever possible, buy newly harvested local apples.
A small, sharp knife is all you need for peeling and slicing apples, although a vegetable peeler may be easier for the novice cook to use. Specially designed apple corers are available. Exposed apple flesh quickly discolours unless it is rubbed with lemon or another citrus juice. Since the skin of the apple contains so many nutrients, it is a good idea to leave it on when possible.
Because apples continue to ripen at room temperature, refrigerate them in the cold back part of the refrigerator for 1 week or longer. If you plan to eat them soon after purchase, they can be held at room temperature for a few days.