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.