Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grimes Golden **

Not gold but light green, this large apple has a classic shape with a small amount of ribbing and a slight conical taper.

The green is subtly stippled and the peel has a matte finish.
Grimes sports no blush but each of my samples has a side that is smoother and shinier within which the large light lenticels are easier to see.

Both apples also have small webs of russet near their bases.

Grimes Golden is firm to the hand and has a lovely smell of pears and (sorry to be recursive) apples, with a whiff of vanilla.

These aromas recur inside as flavors, where crisp medium-coarse flesh is light yellow, crisp, and juicy. There is enough tartness hidden away to bring out subtle tastes: cane sugar, vanilla, cream soda, and a hint of pear.

Grimes is a very fine apple, easy to eat, light, and full of flavor.

Even the peel adds a harmonious nutty note. Everything in this apple works together extraordinarily well.

two stars Grimes Golden originated in West Virginia around the turn of the 19th Century. Many believe it is a parent of another West Virginia found seedling, Golden Delicious.

Orange Pippin has some interesting historical notes, and Calhoun has more detail.

Grimes G is an unusual self-fertile apple: one tree will pollinate itself. Though crisper and tastier than Golden Delicious it is not as reliable or sturdy for shipping long distances.

Thus commerce decides for us what choices we will be allowed to have. I'd choose Grimes if I could.

The apple is memorialized by a park and historical marker in Wellsburg, W. Virginia (map).


  1. Adam,
    This ia a very good narrative about an American Apple. I like that you added in the historical bit with photo.

    1. Stephen, thanks. (Stephen sometimes writes about apples on his blog.

      One of the fun things about this gig is that, really, every apple has a story of its own and I get to learn about them and pass them along.

  2. Grimes Golden was discovered in 1802 on the farm of Thomas Grimes. He liked the apple so much that he planted his farm with them and sold trees and apples to the riverboats on the Ohio river in Wellsburg WV a few miles away. The original tree blew over in 1905. It was full of apples at the time.The apple is far superior to the golden delicious in every way but profits. Some say john chapman planted the tree but that is not likely.


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