Golden Delicious is increasingly sought out by apple enthusiasts for growing in home orchards as word spreads that if you look beyond the bland reputation of the supermarket examples, this is an apple that truely merits its name.
Home-grown Golden Delicious is a very different proposition from the supermarket apples you may be used to. It is a very sweet apple of course, but the the sweetness is more like that of raw cane sugar than the bland sweetness you might be expecting. The trick is to pick the apples when they are fully ripe, at which point the familiar pale green skin turns to a green-gold hue.
There are many commercial sports or variants of Golden Delicious with slightly different qualities. Gibson is a sport which is less prone to russeting.
Home-grown Golden Delicious still apples retain the advantages of commercially grown examples - versatile for eating fresh or using in the kitchen, and can be kept for several months in a cold shed or in the fridge.
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Golden Delicious is easy to grow, and very productive across a wide range of climate zones.
It is potentially a good pollinator for many other apple varieties, particularly varieties descended from (Red) Delicious, McIntosh, and Cox, because it flowers over a long period in the mid-season and produces larger quantities of pollen than most other varieties.
West Virginia, USA 1890s. Golden Delicious is almost certainly a seedling of an old American variety called Grimes Golden. The original tree survived until the 1950s, by which time Golden Delicious was firmly established as one of the most widely-planted of all apples.