I am lead to believe that when most people are asked to picture a green apple - the Granny Smith appears in the bubble of their mind. This is the green apple that you find in stores from January to December, rain or shine. It is pretty much the only green apple you find in most grocery stores. Does that mean that it is the only green apple out there? You might see a few apples that may look greenish, a not as golden, Golden Delicious or even a Ginger Gold picked more green. America's supermarkets are basically void of green apples not named Granny. Does America have room for more than one green apple in their produce aisle? As it turns out the Granny Smith is not the only apple with a green skin. I have a few of it's similar colored cousins. What might be the biggest surprise of all to you is that at least one of them was super sweet. I am talking Gala-sweet here!
If there was ever an apple that proved to me that not all green apples are tart, it was the Green Dragon apple. This is an extremely sweet apple with the really sweet name has hardly any tartness to it all. It has a tropical like pear flavor if that makes any sense! Very juicy and refreshing. It is distributed by Frieda's Produce. It's one worth seeking out, if not to just trick your friends.
Now this apple that dates back to the 1600s, is very much what you would think in a green apple. It's quite tart. I don't like eating these out of hand, however I absolutely love them for cooking or baking with. When cooked their flavor really shines, I would reach for these over a Granny anyday. They can be hard to find. I search them out every autumn.
Northwest Greening Apples
Another apple with the greening name. This one is not quite as tart as the Rhode Island Greening, so out of hand eating is an option. Reviews I have read of this apple say that it is a good cooking apple.
I have only had these apples once a couple years ago. In my experience this apple was sweet-tart and not all that crisp. Other reviews online seem to say that it is a crisp apple maybe I just got one that was past it's prime. The apple has a McIntosh-like flavor. It is in fact a cross between a McIntosh and a Golden Delicious.
The interesting thing about this apple is that is was developed as an alternative to Granny Smith in climates where it's hard to grow Granny Smith. Grannies are a late season apple - they need a long growing season, which isn't possible in areas like New England.