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Golden Russet Redux **

Got a few more of these at Red Apple Farm and they are in better shape than the one I initially reviewed, which may not even be a Golden Russet at all.

These apples are coppery brown almost all over except around the crown and in streaks radiating down the side. A few have slightly larger unruseted patches.

They are small (or on the larger side of small) and slightly ribbed, with open calyxes

The flesh of Golden Russet is crisp and juicy, creamy yellow, and coarse. Clean sweet-tart balance with a little bracing acidity, notes of cane sugar, vanilla, lemon, and pear. Nice!

two starsI'm unsure of my original Golden Russet example, which I've relabeled as unidentified. It might just be an anomalous sample; my thoughts about that are here.

Variously recommended for cooking, eating, and cider, Golden Russet has been grown in New England for two hundred years.


  1. I love golden russet as an eating apple. A good one can have an amazing complex flavor that really gets your attention and keeps it. I've had golden russets that would stand a fighting chance against a good cox's orange pippin. It's in my top three eating apples list with wickson and cox. I have a lot of varieties to taste yet though. Definitely better than roxbury and better than any ashmeads kernel I've had, though I may just have not run across the right ashmeads yet. Like any apple, it's not always at it's best, so if you aren't wowed, try it again sometime. I'm just hoping that it proves to be as good a cider apple as it has a reputation of being. Pity it's not more grown and enjoyed.

  2. Do these grow out where you live?

    I've been especially impressed with Golden Russet this year. They lasted through Groundhog's Day in excellent shape, and I wonder if I couldn't be enjoying them still had I set more aside.

    You don't see them sold in supermarkets, that's for sure.

  3. I picked some Golden Russets at the Nashoba Orchard today, and they're great! One of the best apples I've ever had, and I've tried at least 80 varieties. Good and sweet without too much tartness -- just how I like 'em!

  4. We should definite do a storage test this year for golden russet. My samples were from a cider bin, and were not stored properly....however still tasted great even in January.

  5. I bought about a peck of G.R.'s in early October. So far I have eaten a few and plan on dehydrating some into apple chips. I am also going to hold a few back in cold storage. I can say that from October to November they have become a bit less dense but also slightly sweeter. My examples are not juicy but rather moist and more dense to the tooth than most modern supermarket varieties.

  6. I have never eaten one, but I decided to plant a Roxbury instead of a Golden, because of consistent productivity and because the Roxbury is supposed to be a pretty tree. It will go in my front yard on a B118. I plan on grafting a Golden on to an unknown and very forgettable variety on an M7 in my backyard. I'm hoping for some good apples and some good cider! Adam, do you refrigerate your apples or have them in some alternative storage, like a root celler? I appreciate your work and if you are ever on Route 5 in McIndoe Falls, Vermont during apple season and see a tree with Roxbury Russets, please stop by and take some. :-)

  7. @Finders, I mostly just keep my apples in my refrigerator. Around November, barring heat or freezing, there is spillover into my mud room. This is quite uneven, sometimes apples do not keep but others do marvelously.

    Roxbury is a noble fruit and a great choice. I've had better luck keeping Golden Russet, but then I do not have to grow them! I compare the two varieties here.

  8. What a delicious apple! To me, it is a cross between an apple and a pear, with a tart taste. The feel of it is strange, but it tastes sooooo good!

    1. Anon: Russets often have a good deal of pear flavor, also often vanilla and lemon or other citrus.

      They really are good: if they were red, maybe everyone would like them!

  9. Recently tried this for the first time. OMG! This is the BEST apple I have ever tasted in my 61 years. Crisp, juicy, the perfect balance of sweet and tart, plus a very small core in relation to the size of the apple, so that even though the fruits are smaller than today's apples, I think you end up with as much to eat. Did not try baking with them because they were so delicious that I wanted to eat all of them fresh. I wish I could time-travel back 20 years so I could plant a tree, but at this stage of my life I'll have to rely on the farmer's market where I found them.


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