About – Mysterious history. Said to be a seedling of English Russet, a long lost european russet. Discovered in the 1700’s. What IS Golden Russet? Its hard to say, There are so many confusing stories about Golden Russet, American Golden Russet, English Golden Russet, English Russet, Bullock. Confused yet? If not, read this, as noted from an Ohio AG meeting in the 1880s:
Even back in the 1880’s when apple growing was much more personal, we still didnt know how to distinguish these russets all that well.
Beech in Apples of New York offers some distinctions between English and Golden Russet.
Shape – Medium sized, round, relatively even shaped, flattened on both top and bottom to give a fat barrel appearance.
Skin – Golden, finely grained russet. Orange glow on the sun side. Feel of the skin is potato like. The skin will cause the taste buds on your tongue to rise due to the roughness. Slight greenness near the stem. Lenticels yellowish, mixed with the russet color, more prominent when not ripe.
Flesh – Yellow, finely grained, dense. Breaking, juicy enough, crunchy. Juice is grainy. has texture. Oxidizes quickly.
Taste – Honey & pear flavors mixed with a dash of lemon, almond, and a smooth hint of fine grained cane sugar. Sweet, very sweet, with some acidity but not tart. Flavors are not strong, but not weak. Rich. Try eating 2, I dare you.
Bottom line: THE apple for me. I’ve said it many times to growers and potential pickers, Golden Russet is the best kept secret in apple cultivation. The general population does not gravitate to it due to its non-red/green appearance, but from a beauty perspective, it certainly ranks up there. Very dense apple, weighty, similar in weight to a baseball. Soluble sugar contents rank as one of the highest at 21%. Can make a 10% ABV cider that borders on wine. Try mixing the juice of a few of these into an ordinary container of 1/2 gallon cider and be prepared to experience some of the richest cider you’ve ever tasted.
Variety Note: Tip bearer, very vigorous, crops light. One high density orchard has a row of these trees with fireblight. Another orchard has one, very large, majestic, free standing tree that is free of this problem. These are relatively minor issues and are not a justification for demerit. Apples are exceptional keepers, and will store in a high humidity environment at 34 degrees for 6 months. Sugars will develop more and become richer with time.
Why dont I grow it? Light bearing, and I cant have a big tree with only 20-50 apples on it in a small yard. Specimen picked October 14th from Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchards. Samscott in Kinderhook NY has a long row of these as well.
Fresh eating rating: 10/10 – King of Kings. I have yet to find an apple to meet or surpass this one. This includes the perennial Monticello winner, Ashmead’s Kernel. Its richness is merely a compliment to its perfect combination of flavors and texture. Best.
Culinary rating: 8/10 – Cooks very well, holds its shape, stays crunchy to add texture to pie filling. Will add natural sugar in place of processed sugars. Rich.