Golden Delicious is a yellow-skinned apple with good levels of sweetness and a crunchy, blocky texture. It is a very common apple due to high volumes grown, particularly in France, Italy and South Africa. Widely reviled by apple connoisseurs due to it’s supposed blandness, a good Golden Delicious can actually be a pleasant experience and at good value.
For many years, British consumers were convinced that Golden Delicious should be green, as educated by the wholesale trade. However, green means immature and therefore less sweetness, no doubt contributing to the varieties bad press! In France and Italy, Golden Delicious is eaten when it is bright yellow to maximise sweetness, though often at the expense of a little softness. However, when the balance between colour, sweetness and texture is right, this is a perfectly acceptable apple.
Golden Delicious grown in South African have a good reputation as the sweetest, while high altitude Golden Delicious (from Limousin in France and Sud-Tyrol in Italy) is also flavoursome and crunchy, often with an attractive red blush.
Golden Delicious is one of the supermarket ‘all-year-round’ varieties representing the yellow apple segment of any display. It is not an exciting apple, but has a loyal following and is actually worth seeking-out from the sweet origins such as South Africa.
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 warmer zones 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:
- January: France, Italy and Spain
- February: France, Italy and Spain
- March: France, Italy and Spain
- April: France, Italy and Spain
- May: France, Italy, South Africa
- June: France, Italy, South Africa
- July: France, Italy, South Africa
- August: France, Italy, South Africa
- September: France, Italy, South Africa
- October: France, Italy and Spain
- November: France, Italy and Spain
- December: France, Italy and Spain