With back-to-school season in full swing and Rosh Hashanah around the corner, now’s the time to start buying apples (farewell, summer fruit). To make sure you’ve picked the best of the bunch—whether at an orchard or at the supermarket—flick the apple near its stem. If the sound is hollow, the apple is a bit too ripe. If you hear a dull thud, you’ve found perfectly ripe fruit.
A few other signs that an apple is ready-to-eat: It has a strong, sweet aroma, and a vibrant color. Don’t worry so much about shine; many groceries wax their apples to make them look more appealing.
Check out some of our favorite apples recipes, from pork sautéed with granny smith apples to ravioli with apples and walnuts.