Red Gold Apples
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Red Gold apples are a small to medium-sized varietal, averaging 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, and have a round, oblate, to ellipsoidal shape with broad, flat shoulders tapering to a narrow base. Depending on growing conditions, the variety may have some ribbing, giving the surface a slightly bumpy feel. The apple’s skin is thin, smooth, glossy, and taut, showcasing a few pale lenticels scattered across the surface. The skin also ripens from green to a golden yellow hue, covered in large patches of red-pink blush. The amount of blush will vary based on sun exposure during cultivation and may be opaque to translucent with broken striping. Underneath the surface, the pale yellow to ivory flesh is aqueous, tender, and succulent with a crisp consistency. The flesh also contains a central fibrous core filled with dark brown seeds. Red Gold apples are edible raw and have a sweet flavor with a subtle berry-like aftertaste. When the fruits are young and not fully ripe, they will have a sweet and mildly tart taste.
Red Gold apples are harvested in the early fall through winter.
Red Gold apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are an American variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The mid-season apples grow on deciduous trees reaching 3 to 9 meters in height and were created in Washington State in the mid-20th century. Red Gold apples are named after their parentage of Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples. Since its release, the variety has remained a somewhat unknown cultivar and is mainly grown as a specialty apple. Red Gold apple trees are favored for their ornamental nature in the spring, producing fragrant blossoms, and the trees are prolific with small fruits in the fall. In the modern day, Red Gold apples are a rare, seasonal variety savored for their sweet taste and are utilized in a wide array of fresh and cooked culinary preparations.
Red Gold apples have not been studied for their nutritional properties. Like its parent cultivars, the variety is a source of calcium to build strong bones and teeth, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The apples also provide small amounts of copper to develop connective tissues, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, magnesium to control optimal nerve functioning, and other nutrients, including iron, vitamin K, and zinc.
Red Gold apples have a sweet, fruity taste suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The variety is primarily consumed out of hand for its soft, juicy nature and sugary flavor, and the skin can be eaten or peeled, depending on preference. Red Gold apples are also popularly pressed into juices and added to cider blends. Try blending Red Gold apples into smoothies for a sweet taste. The apples can also be packed in on-the-go lunches due to their small and easy-to-carry size. Red Gold apples can be chopped into salads, sliced on cheese plates, or dipped whole in caramel and melted sugar as a decadent treat. The apples can also be layered into parfaits, sandwiches, and on toast, used as a topping over oatmeal, or mixed into fruit medleys. In addition to fresh preparations, Red Gold apples are commonly cooked into applesauce and served with roasted meats. They are also simmered into jams, jellies, and compotes, baked into pastries and desserts, or stuffed and cooked whole. Red Gold apples pair well with herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint, and basil, nuts including almonds, pine, and pistachios, cheeses such as parmesan, gouda, cheddar, and feta, and fruits including peaches, nectarines, blueberries, grapes, and melons. Whole, unwashed Red Gold apples will keep for several weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place such as a cellar or the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Red Gold apples occasionally appear during the Apple Day event in its hometown of Cashmere, Washington. Apple Days are annual fall harvest celebrations held at the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village. The event is comprised of live entertainment, gold panning, food trucks, a pie contest, and apple-centric homemade goods. Cashmere is also known as the geographical center of Washington State and is situated at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, leading it to be an ideal apple-growing region. The Cascade Foothills Farmland Association developed a culinary tourism driving map to guide visitors to various orchards, fruit stands, and other regional tourist attractions.
Red Gold apples are native to the United States and were developed in Cashmere, Washington. The history of the variety is unknown, but it has been recorded that F.A. Schell is credited with the variety’s release, and the apples were thought to have been created from a cross between Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples. It is also important to note that some sources claim the variety is a cross between Golden Delicious and Richared Delicious apples. Today, Red Gold apples are a rare variety grown in small quantities as a dual-purpose cultivar. The variety is mainly found in the United States, specifically in the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Midwest. Outside of North America, Red Gold apples were also planted in the United Kingdom National Fruit Collection in 1951 and are grown as a commercial apple in India in the Bhagirathi Valley in Northeastern India.