How to idenitfy a type of apple tree?

Hi,
I moved into my current home about three years ago. There is a mature apple tree in the back garden which has, for the first time since we have been here, produced an abundance of fruit.
The problem is, I don't know what sort of apple it is! I am going to pick one and eat it, to get an idea of eating or cooking, but this does not seem very scientific to me.
Does anyone know a way of identifing the type of tree? -- AndyG ------------------------------------------------------------------------ posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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It sounds like the tree is prone to bearing in alternate years, which narrows it down somewhat.
Do you know your USDA zone? What does the skin look like? Are the fruit borne on spurs, or at branch tips? Is the fruit tart, or mellow?
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