I've read that a lot of people really like Golden Delicious and Ginger Gold apples. I had my first Ginger Gold today and dumped it after two bites. It was reminiscent of Golden Delicious in its bland flavor and mealy, mushy texture.
What am I missing? I'm on the West coast, and I've heard that Golden Deliciouses are superior on the East coast. Can anyone fill me in?
By the way, I used to be a Gala muncher, but recently I'm all about the Honeycrisps. I think they're the best apple on the planet for out-of-hand eating. For baking, I stick to Granny Smiths.
Ginger golds are delicious right off the tree, or on the shelf a few days at best. After that, bake with them. If yours was bland and mealy, it was probably a week old. They simply do not keep even that long. And the smell test doesn't work on them, either, as I discovered a few weeks ago, when I bought an entire bag of mealy ones from Trader Joe's and had to use them in cakes.
And I think you're right about Golden Delicious apples being better on the east coast. I disliked them growing up in California because they seemed dull to me, but I've had some excellent, even tangy ones out here in Massachusetts. In fact, one of my favorite apple desserts, a free-form apple tart of Jacques Pepin's, is best with Golden Delicious apples.
I live in New England and was raised on Long Island (NY). I have never found Golden Delicious to be tangy. They are far better than Red Delicious, but RD is a low bar to clear, on the bottom rung of the apple ladder, if that ladder is sinking in mud.... Julia Child used to recommend GD for baking but in her day, there were far fewer supermarket varieties than we get today. I only discovered Gingergold a couple of years ago. Considering how early its harvest is, it's a nice eating apple and the slices hold their shape well when baked. Gold color has little or nothing to do with apples' keeping properties. Golden Russets (not all that yellow) are a very late season apple but will keep until spring, as will Yellow Newtown Pippin.
I pity you Californians who don't get to have Macoun apples. They are like Cosmo Kramer's "Mackinaw Peaches" - a very short season but worth every minute. Almost as crisp and juicy as the more-available, long-keeping Honeycrisp but finer-grained and more tart. I do like Honeycrisps, but by the time I am halfway through one of them, they seem too floral. I have yet to find Suncrisp a yellow variety which KarlS says is superior to Honeycrisp.