Nobody likes to work with a bad apple. Unfortunately for most, you can't always choose whom you work with. What you can choose, however, is an actual, edible apple. Here are some of the best ways to find a good apple the next time you're picking apples with, well, a bunch of good apples.
Additionally, we have a few ways to salvage some of those bad apples. (No, not the ones you sit next to at work. Sorry, folks.)
1. Steer Clear of Soft Apples
Have you ever tossed a perfectly firm apple into a bag, carried said bag to work, and discovered that your once-perfect apple is now a bad apple?
Avoid apples that look like they've traveled sixteen stops along the subway in a canvas bag while at the orchard. The key to freshness is, in fact, firmness.
2. Use Your Nose
Believe it or not, the very same way you check milk's freshness is a way to determine the quality of an apple. Before picking an apple, give it a quick sniff.
Apples that please the olfactories are safe. Apples that smell rotten, however, are not.
3. Know Your Colors
Your mother always told you not to judge a book by its cover. Apples, however, aren't quite the same. Other than the obvious (e.g. bruising and bites already taken), it's important to know how the variety of apple you're picking is supposed to look.
A Granny Smith shouldn't be red, and, believe it or not, a Red Delicious shouldn't be green.
4. A Picked Apple Will No Longer Ripen
Once an apple is picked, the deed is done. For comparison's sake, the bags of frozen berries you buy at the supermarket are frozen incredibly quickly after they're picked. This is when they're the ripest.
By picking an apple at its ripest, you're certainly not freezing it at its peak freshness forever, but you're definitely halting its growth. Everything from here on out is (you guessed it) decay.
5. Don't Toss Rotten Apples!
Hold it right there! Sure, we just told you that everything from here on out is decay. We never said decay is inherently bad, though. Not-so-ripe apples can be used in applesauce, pies, and smoothies.
Additionally, you can sure as heck cover them in brown sugar and bake them until they taste good.