Thursday, February 26, 2009

Golden Delicious *

My medium-large Golden Delicious is a cheerful yellow tinged with green. It has distinctive dark green lenticels that fade to nearly nothing on the blushed area, which is a faint orange pink.

My example is ribbed and conical, with a round ridge of chins at the bottom, and theres a small stellation of russet radiating within the stem well.

I think of Golden Delicious as having a characteristic sweet fragrance, but my sample has almost no aroma at all.

Its flesh is crisp and juicy, a fine-grained light yellow. Golden Delicious is sweet and though there is a little balancing tartness—more than I'd expected—individual flavor notes are difficult to tease out. It is mild but flavorful. 

I was surprised, however, to find a hint of the same vegetable tobacco note that is also present in Arkansas Black. (It would be an understatement to say that these are very different apples.)

There is also a bit of pear and honey. The texture is quite firm.

This variety is a classic, flavorful and easy to eat.

Golden Delicious is a giant among apples, popular with growers, eaters, and breeders, who mine its genome for this variety's even mild sweetness, attractive appearance, and durability.

Golden Delicious was originally a chance seedling found more than a century ago in West Virginia, where it has been the state fruit since 1995.


  1. What are you going to do when you run out of apples to review? Golden Delicious are my favourite. My parents used to have an organic orchard and that was always the best one :)

  2. Miss--Your question is rhetorical, but there are more apples than I could ever taste.

    Speaking of rhetorical questions: Golden D is a truly great apple, isn't it?

  3. This September is the 100th anniversary of the Golden Delicious apple, at least by that name. The apple was first "discovered" about 20 years earlier on the Mullins farm in Clay County, West Virginia. For several years the Mullins family sold the apples locally under the name "Mullins Yellow Seedling." It was in September 1914, however, that PaulStark of the Stark Brothers Nursery traveled six hundred miles by rail from Missouri to Charleston, West Virginia, and the last 25 miles to the Mullins farm by horseback to not only buy the tree and the sole right to propagate it, but a square of ground on which it stood, plus the right to give it a new name, Golden Delicious. Stark did no bargaining, but paid Mullins five thousand dollars in cash on the spot. The next day he had huge woven wire cage constructed around the tree -- not to protect it from deer and other predators, but to keep anyone from pruning any limbs or taking any cuttings. The cage not only had a lock, but an alarm. Thus 100 years ago this month, the Golden Delicious was born.
    We don't grow any, but we have several trees for which the Golden Delicious is one of the parents.

    1. John, thank you for remembering the centenary! The apple's numbers, and children, have certainly increased.

      Much as I admire Golden D, I find I like Grimes Golden, thought to be a parent, even more.


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