A very common apple due to high volumes grown, particularly in France, Italy, Spain and South Africa. Widely reviled by apple connoisseurs, due to it’s supposed blandness, a good Golden Delicious can actually be very pleasant and good value. For many years, British consumers were convinced that the fruit should be green, often at the behest of the wholesale trade, but green means immature and less sweetness, but more crunch! The French and Italians eat Golden Delicious when it is bright yellow and sweet, though often a little soft. However, when the balance between colour, sweetness and texture is right, this is a very acceptable apple.
South African Golden Delicious have a good reputation for sweetness, while high altitude Golden Delicious (from Limousin in France and Sud-Tyrol in Italy) is usually flavoursome and crunchy, often with an attractive blush.
Origin: The origin of Golden Delicious is not known precisely, but the original tree was found on Mullins’ family farm, Clay County, West Virginia, USA. It is possibly a natural cross between Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette, and was first marketed in 1914.
Grown in: Golden Delicious can be grown in most apple regions, but is prone to russetting in cooler, wetter zones so most are produced in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, USA, and South Africa. Iran is also a large producer of the variety.
Harvest & Availability: One reason that Golden Delicious is so common is that it is a good growers apple: high yielding, and able to store for up to 12 months in low oxygen conditions. For this reason, the variety has been available all year for decades:
September to August: from France, Italy and Spain
April to September: from South Africa