The story of Johnny Appleseed is often included with many tall tales of our country's frontier days. But unlike some of those fables, Johnny Appleseed was a real person. His real name was John Chapman. One of the seeds he planted was believed to have been Grimes Golden. This variety was first found in West Virginia in the 1800s. It is named after it's "founder" Thomas Grimes. This apple's biggest claim to fame is that it's believe to be one of the parents of one of the most popular apples in today's market - the Golden Delicious. They look very similar, one could easily mistaken them for each other.
My Experience with this Apple (Rating Scale 1-10)
Tartness : 4
Apple Flavor: 7
Overall Feeling: When comparing this apple to it's offspring, hands down the Grimes Golden is the better apple. It is more crisp than the Golden Delicious. It has a thicker skin, which helps give it a longer shelf life than the Golden Delicious. The flavor is more complex than the Delicious. So why in the world is it not found everywhere like it's offspring? I think it has to do with the fact that it is more vulnerable to diseases than the Delicious. In the early 1900s when the Golden Delicious came on the scene, they didn't have the technology we have now to combat diseases. So I think this lead the Golden Delicious to become the dominant yellow apple on the market. Also contributing to Golden Delicious climb to the top of the yellow apple world is that the trees produce larger apples than Grimes Golden.
As for uses for Grimes Golden is one of the most multi purpose apples. It's great just slicing up and eating. It also holds it's own when baked and it can be good for making applesauce with. In both causes less sugar is needed and you might want to combine them with some apples that are more on the tart side to get that much sought after sweet/tart balance. The apple is also popular in cider making.
are these apples heirloom
Yes, Grimes Golden is considered an heirloom variety. They are one of my favs!
How or where might I find this Grimes apple?
Follow this link: http://www.orangepippin.com/apples/grimes-golden
Click on the where to buy tab. It will show a list of orchards that grow the apple in several states. The apple isn't widely available in stores. I have only seen it myself at the farmer's market.
Oh, how I wish I could taste one again. We grew them on our farm in Ohio in the 1940's along with many other varieties. This was my favorite.