The skin has reddish-orange stripes or swatches with patches of cream-coloured yellow at times. The white flesh is crisp, with a balanced sweet / tart taste. The shape is very slightly flattened, growing up to about 3 inches (7 1/2 cm) wide.
The Gala apple tree is liked by farmers, because it is self-pollinating, and more disease resistant than some older varieties such as Cox. Stores like the apple because they can provide it year round to consumers: for 6 months of the year it is grown in one hemisphere, and for the other six months in the other hemisphere.
In 2011, Gala became the best-selling apple in the UK, when British supermarkets sold 22,000 tonnes of Gala apples, compared with 21,600 tonnes of Cox, the next-best selling apple.
These are better eaten raw than cooked. With its pleasant but not necessarily memorable taste, it is a favourite for lunch-bags and lunch boxes. Purists dismiss it as “bland”, but it is on course to becoming one of the best selling apples in English-speaking markets.
Commercially, you can produce about 800 litres of juice per tonne of fruit.
Gala Apples were developed starting in 1934 by J.H. Kidd of New Zealand from a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious. It was selected from amongst several seedlings that resulted from that cross.
The apple was introduced into North America from New Zealand in 1965.
J.H. Kidd also developed the Kidd’s Orange Red and the Freyberg apples.
Leapman, Michael. Why Cox’s will always be the apple of my eye. London: Daily Telegraph. 15 March 2011.
Petersen, Pete. Eat rich, sweet gala apples right out of hand. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. 2 September 2008.
Wallop, Harry. Cox apples fall from favour, as farmers abandon traditional British fruit and veg. London: Daily Telegraph. 5 May 2009.
Wallop, Harry. Cox apple toppled by the gala. London: Daily Telegraph. 13 March 2011.