The first time I realized that there are about 7,500 varieties of apples grown all over the world, I was mind-blown. In the United States alone, there are over 2,500 varieties.
Well, you are probably wondering why you have not encountered this many varieties.
Most varieties are found at pick-your-own apple farms and local farmers’ markets and most of them are available all year round. It is only typical that some are more popular than others.
The Gala apple is one of the most popular varieties in the United States and the world in general. It is also one of the most produced varieties.
The Gala apple is naturally hard. Therefore, it can be grown in both hemispheres. This explains why you’ll find Gala apples in stores all year round.
The skin of gala apple is a non-uniform yellow-orange color and it sometimes has pink and red stripes. The skin is thin and edible, so make sure you wash it thoroughly in running water.
In case you have been wondering what Gala apples taste like, this is the article for you. Simply put, Gala apples are crisp and sweet.
We’ll discuss everything you need to know about Gala apples including the flavor, choosing the best ones, substitutes, uses, and storage.
The Flavor of Gala Apples
Gala apples are mildly sweet with a pleasant floral aroma. Although the Gala apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange Red, it does not have strong flavor characteristics. Most people prefer Gala apples because of the mild flavor.
The flesh of a gala apple has a fine texture and is dense. It is also crispy and creamy yellow in color.
The best time to eat Gala apples is when they are in season. At this time, they are freshly picked and the flavor is at its peak. I highly recommend buying them at the farmers’ market.
Freshly picked Gala apples give you a punchy aroma and flavor and also offer the maximum crunch.
Once out of season, Gala apples tend to become bland, soft, and floury in texture. They also lose their crunch and flavor when you store them for too long.
So when is the Gala apple season? In Europe and North America, Gala apples start being sold in May.
So I recommend buying them between May and June. If you live in the southern hemisphere, buy them between January and February.
Choosing the Best Gala Apples
As I mentioned, the only way to enjoy Gala apples is by picking the best ones from the store or farmers’ markets.
Always choose Gala apples that have clear skin. The skin should also be free from bruising and soft spots. Additionally, the apple should feel solid in your hand. If you hold it and it feels light, do not buy it.
Some Gala apples are kept in storage for a long time, so it is important to check for aging as well. Do this by rubbing your thumb against the skin. If it forms wrinkles, it has been in storage for too long and you should not buy it.
Another thing you need to be on the lookout for is russeting. Rusetting simply refers to an abnormality of the fruit skin. It manifests in brown patches. Do not buy apples that have any signs of resetting.
Gala Apples Use
Gala apples can either be eaten fresh or used in several recipes. The apples are as delicious as they are nutritious.
I love Gala apples because they are quite versatile. Its delicate flavor complements most recipes.
Here are a few ways you can use Gala apples.
- In salads
Slice your Gala apples and add them to your salads for that extra crispiness and sweet flavor.
If you are worried about the apples turning brown when you add them to your salad, just squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in them before adding them to the salad.
The lemon juice will ensure they maintain their color.
- In chutney or salsa
If you have never tried adding Gala apples to chutney or salad you are missing out. Simply dice the apples and add them to fruity chutney or salsa.
- In desserts
You can add Gala apples to your pies, cakes, muffins, or any other dessert that could use an apple flavor.
- Add them to burgers, crostini’s, paninis, and subs
If you want to add flavor to your burgers, crostini’s, Paninis, or subs, I suggest PEELING Gala apples, cutting them into thin slices, and using them as a topping. The apples will significantly enhance the flavor.
- Making apple sauce
You can use Gala apples to make homemade apple sauce
Gala Apple Substitutes
In case you do not have Gala apples in stock, you can always use substitutes instead. Here are some of the substitutes you can use and the best ways to use them.
If you want to mimic the flavor of Gala apples in recipes, I recommend using these apple varieties; Fuji, ambrosia, and Hudson’s golden gem.
If you are making apple sauce, you can use Cox’s Orange Pippin, Fuji, or Spencer. The best replacements for Gala apples in baked desserts are; Pink Pearl, Hidden Rose, and Ida Red.
All these substitutes will give you decent results, so do not shy away from using them when you do not have any Gala apples in stock or when they are not in season.
How to Store Gala Apples
Store Gala apples the same way you store other apples; in a cold place. I suggest storing them at the bottom part of the refrigerator.
Before storing them, wrap the apples in a plastic bag that has perforations. This way, the apples will maintain their crisp texture.
When stored properly, Gala apples will stay fresh for 5-6 weeks. If you store them at room temperature in a cool and dry place, they will last for 2 weeks.
Thereafter, they begin to wrinkle and soften.
Interesting Facts About Gala Apples
- Gala apples are one of the most popular apple varieties in the United States. Research has shown that Gala apples and Red Delicious are the most eaten varieties in the United States.
- Gala apples grow in both cold and warm climates, hence most people prefer growing them as opposed to other varieties.
- The Gala apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange Red.
- The Gala apple was developed by J.H. Kidd in 1934, but its production did not officially start until the 1970s.
- The apples can be stored for up to one year in temperature-controlled storage.
- Like all apples, Gala apples float on water since they are made up of 25% air.
Gala apples are very delicious, and the fact that they grow in both cold and warm climates makes them the go-to variety for farmers.
They have a sweet flavor and an amazing crisp texture. Their mild taste also makes them the go-to variety for people who do not like strong flavors.
If you want to enjoy Gala apples, always choose the best ones as we discussed above. If you don’t, you’ll end up with apples that have an unpleasant texture. Select the best ones like we discussed to avoid disappointment.
Gala apples are generally amazing, so if you are skeptical about trying them out, this is your cue to try them today.