Approximate Ripening: Late September
Uses: All-purpose; particularly well suited for salads, applesauce, and apple butter
Trivia: Golden Delicious was discovered by J. M. Mullins as a chance seedling (perhaps of Grimes Golden) on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, WV back in 1891. Young Mr. Mullins was sent by his father to mow the pasture field. As he hacked away at the weeds with his scythe, he noticed a small apple tree growing where no others were and decided to spare it the blade. The tree grew to bear delicious yellow fruit. The Mullins sold the rights to the tree and the ground for 30’ around it to the Stark Brothers Nurseries, who in 1914 began marketing it as Golden Delicious to serve as a companion to their popular Red Delicious apple (these two Delicious apples bear no relation to one another). J. M. Mullins’s choice not to chop down his fledgling apple tree proved very fortunate for apple lovers everywhere, yet not very profitable for the Mullins’. Stark Brothers offered to pay the Mullins a then-princely sum of $5,000, yet Mr. Mullins claims they only paid the initial $50 advance. Golden Delicious became West Virginia’s official state fruit in 1955.
Notes: One of the primary apples carried by most supermarkets, Golden Delicious is far better enjoyed fresh from the orchard. Like all apples, supermarket Golden Delicious are often picked weeks before ripening, when they are still green. While this method allows them to ship well and keep longer, it strips the apple of its flavor. Rittman Golden Delicious are sold at market shortly after picking. You can see the difference in the robust golden bloom on the skin; this is how a true Golden Delicious should look. And you’ll taste the difference in the exceptionally rich sweetness.