The Gala apple is one of the most popular apple varieties in the world and rivals the Red Delicious in the United States in production levels. Thanks to the hardy nature of this fruit, it can be grown in both hemispheres, so you’ll find it available in stores most of the year.
If you’re fairly new to apples you may be wondering what does a Gala apple taste like? Are they worth your money? Let’s take a look at their flavor, uses in the kitchen, as well as how to test whether you’re getting a good one.
What do Gala apples taste like?
A gala apple is a sweet-tasting fruit with a pleasant floral aroma. Its flesh is dense, fine-textured, and crisp with a creamy yellow shade. The skin is a non-uniform yellow-orange color with red or pink stripes; it is thin and perfectly edible. A gala is a cross between a Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious and doesn’t have any strong additional flavor characteristics. The longer a Gala is allowed to mature on the tree, the sweeter it becomes. Its skin will also develop a deeper red hue.
It is best to eat Gala apples when they’re in season and freshly picked. Locally sourced fruit from a farmer’s market is an excellent option. These fruits offer maximum crunch, punchy flavor, and aroma. A quality Gala will also have a subtle pear-like undertone. However, this variety becomes soft, bland, and floury in texture once out of season, or if they’ve been sitting in storage too long. Getting the right fruit at the right time is essential when buying them.
Seasonality and selection
To make life easier, buy Gala when they’re in season. In North America and Europe, the locally grown variety will appear in shops from May. For those in the southern hemisphere, you’ll see fresh Gala in-store in early January.
Choose apples that have clear skin and a smooth surface free from soft spots or bruising. The apple should feel solid in your hand – if it feels light then return it and choose another. To test for aging, rub your thumb across the skin and see if any wrinkles form. This is a dead giveaway that the fruit you’re checking has been in storage for too long.
Look at the stem of the apple for signs of brown setting in. In the industry, this is known as russeting and it’s not a good sign. Avoid apples with any signs of russeting.
|To make apple sauce||To mimic gala apples||For baked desserts|
|Cox’s Orange Pippin||Fuji||Idared|
|Fuji||Hudson’s Golden Gem||Pink Pearl|
Gala apples are at their best when eaten out of hand. The fresh, in-season variety is a sweet treat packed with nutritional goodness. They are also a versatile apple for use in the kitchen, with a delicate texture and flavor that lends itself to fresh recipes.
- Slice them up and toss into a salad for a burst of sweet, crispy goodness. To stop the tasty looking white flesh from turning brown, squeeze a little lemon juice over them before adding to the salad.
- Cut the fruit into thin slices and peel the skin before adding to paninis, burgers, subs, or crostinis.
- Dice them and add to a fruity salsa or chutney.
- Bake in a pie, muffin, cake, or any other dessert that benefits from the taste of apple. They combine well with other types of apples such as Honeycrisp, Mcintosh, Pippin, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Pink Lady. Tart apples balance out the sweetness that comes from a Gala.
- Pair Galas with onions, brie, pears, nuts, poultry, and winter squash.
- There are loads of good recipes for using Gala apples, but our favorite use for them is to eat them out of hand. You will find that kids can’t get enough of this tasty treat in their school lunches.
Like all apples, Galas are best stored cold, so place them at the bottom of the refrigerator. Kept cool, they will last 4-6 weeks before their texture begins to degrade. Keep them in a plastic bag with perforations to help the fruit maintain its crisp flesh and to allow any moisture to escape. If you have a large number of apples that won’t fit in the fridge then store them in a cool, dry place. When stored at room temperature, Galas can last for up to 2 weeks before they begin to wrinkle and soften.
A Gala apple contains a little over 5g of fiber which is mostly stored in the skin, so try to avoid peeling your fruit. They are also high in vitamins A, C, and B, and contain 116 calories and less than 1g of fat.
Eat Gala apples in moderation as they contain 23g of sugar which will quickly add up if you eat more than one apple a day.
How to make a kid’s apple pack
Hint: Splash some lemon juice over the apple before you bag it to keep the apple from going brown.
6 quick facts
- Gala apples are one of the most popular cultivars across the world and rival the Red Delicious for the most eaten type in the United States. Their popularity amongst growers is helped by the fact they grow in warm and cold climates.
- Their lineage links back to the Cox Orange Pippin and the Golden Delicious and they are the parent of Royal Gala, Pacific Rose, and Jazz varieties.
- J.H. Kidd developed the Gala apple in New Zealand back in 1934, although international distribution didn’t begin until the 1970s.
- Distribution centers use temperature-controlled storage to keep the fruit in storage for up to a year without going off.
- Americans consume 19 pounds of whole apple each year. It is the second most popular type of fruit behind the banana.
- Apples float in water because they are made up of 25% air.
The final word
Galas are delicious apples that continue to grow in popularity for good reason. They have a lovely crisp texture, sweet flavor, and mild taste that makes them popular with most people. Kids love this apple as a tasty treat for a lunchtime snack.
Choosing fresh, in-season Galas is important if you want to avoid fruit with a soft, unpleasant texture. We suggest following our suggestions above for selecting good fruit to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, you may end up with a bag of apples that are only good for juicing.
What’s your favorite apple at the moment? Please let us know in the comments below.