Saturday, 12 March 2011

Golden Delicious

According to the R.V Roger catalogue, Golden Delicious is the most widely grown variety of apple in the world. It adds the information that this variety was found as a sport in 1890 by a grower in West Virginia, USA. British reference books such as Hessayon's "Fruit Expert", and reputable British Growers, advise that the variety is not really suitable for the British climate. Hence the thousands of tons of Golden Delicious in British supermarkets come mainly from France. And pale, bland and pappy they are too, turning to brown mush in a few days. I hate them, and I'd never buy them.

So why do I remember so well the first Golden Delicious I ate, as a small child in the fifties, as such a great pleasure? And why did I buy a barquette of Goldens (as they are known here) yesterday? They were sitting in the Simply Market saying "take me home with you" like plump puppies. They were large, firm and juicy, glowing primrose yellow flushed with rose, smell heavenly and taste - appropriately - delicious. And they are local produce - well, from Sepmes, which isn't exactly far. The last Goldens we bought kept for at least 6 weeks in the cave. Indre-et-Loire is one of the great fruit and vegetable producing areas in France, and the producers know how to store fruit so that it remains in excellent condition. They don't need to pick it until it's ripe, if it's only going 20 kilometres. The real damage to the imported apples sold in Britain is done by the chiller, where underripe fruit is kept just above freezing point in an inert atmosphere, effectively in suspended animation, so it looks perfect but starts to disintegrate because of cell damage as soon as they are put on the supermarket shelves.

Plump puppies!


Niall & Antoinette said...

These look yummy! I never buy them normally as, like you, I find they taste of mush. Must give them another go if I spot locally grown ones.

GaynorB said...

The Golden Delicious on sale in the UK are usually a very pale yellowy/green colour, and don't really taste of anything.
Yours look nuch more inviting!

Pollygarter said...

Niall, Antoinette, Gaynor - does not do much for the reputation of French fruit in UK! Glad I could revive it a little.