Apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits! The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found today. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10 billion. (Learn more about apples on Wikipedia.)
McIntosh: This popular variety has a thick red and green skin with soft white flesh. Commonly grown in New England, it is as good a snack as it is a variety for preparing apple sauce or apple cider. The Mcintosh apple grows through fall and into early winter. As the season progresses, their taste becomes increasingly sweeter.
Empire: Empire apples are actually a cross between the Mcintosh and Red Delicious apples. The skin of the empire apple is thin and bright red with faint white striations, its top is capped with a light green blush. It is a medium sized apple and round in shape with a creamy white interior. Its crisp and juicy flesh has a flavor that is sweet like a Red Delicious and tart like a McIntosh.
For more information on apple varieties visit this resource.