The Difference Between Golden And Red Delicious Apples Isn't Just Color

Apples come in a remarkable array of varieties. In fact, there are around 7,500 cultivars of apples on the planet. Two of the most popular and recognizable apples are the Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, whose names are about as self-explanatory as it gets. These juicy, crunchy fruits have found their way into countless homes, but as with any produce, they differ significantly in terms of color, flavor, texture, and culinary applications.

The Red Delicious apple, for one, is celebrated for its rich, deep crimson skin. This vibrant hue and its glossy finish give the Red Delicious an enticing, visually striking appearance. It's often used as the quintessential representation of the classic "apple red." In stark contrast, Golden Delicious apples live up to their moniker with a pale golden or yellowish-green skin and, on occasion, a subtly speckled appearance. Their color, reminiscent of sunshine, exudes a sense of warmth and brightness. But besides color, how do these apples differ?

Red Delicious apples are versatile stars

Red Delicious apples are characterized by their floral flavor profile and tend to be on the sweeter side. However, some critics may find their flavor a bit too one-dimensional, i.e., lacking the complexity of other apple species. In terms of texture, Red Delicious apples are known for their inherent crispness; biting into a Red Delicious apple yields a satisfying crunch. However, their bite can sometimes be inconsistent, ranging from firm to mealy, depending on factors such as ripeness and storage conditions.

There are many amazing ways to cook with apples, but the Red Delicious variety is best enjoyed fresh, either sliced and eaten on its own or added to salads for a sweet, crunchy component. Their bold red color also makes them a popular choice for decorative purposes, either on platters or as garnishes. Due to their mild flavor and tendency to turn mushy when cooked, they're less commonly used in baking recipes compared to other apple varieties.

Golden Delicious apples are charming, yellow darlings

Golden Delicious apples offer a more complex flavor than their Red Delicious relatives. They're notably sweet but also possess a delicate tartness that provides a well-balanced taste. The flavor can be described as a harmonious blend of honey and citrus, making it a delightful choice for those seeking a multi-faceted experience. Golden Delicious apples possess a creamy, tender flesh that maintains its firmness, even when exposed to heat. This quality makes them a preferred choice for various recipes, including apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, and more. Their adaptability extends to savory fare, where they can be used in salads, alongside roast meats, or as a complement to elegant or simple cheese boards.

While Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples share a common heritage, their differences set them apart in unique ways. Red Delicious apples captivate with their striking red appearance and mild flavor, making them ideal for fresh snacking and simple presentations. Golden Delicious apples charm with their flaxen hue and well-balanced flavor, making them undeniable stars of the fruit basket.