I never thought my love for fresh fruit would be torn in so many directions. In addition to the beautiful weather, summer is my favourite time of the year in Vancouver for the bounty of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and more. Yet as Fall took over the city, blustery rain and all, there is one little yellow apple that has been making it all worthwhile:
The Aurora Golden Gala apple.
Yellow. Crisp. Juicy. Aromatic. Sweet.
I discovered the Aurora Golden Gala apple one day before hosting a Granville Island Market Tour. I was chatting with Apple Expert, Maggie, on this curious yellow apple that now has centre stage on the shelves of No. 1 Orchard. First, Maggie handed me a slice; it was love at first bite. The flavour is surprisingly bright and the interior has a distinct crunchy texture. As a yellow apple, it’s not nearly as sweet as a Red Delicious or a Honeycrisp, yet, the Aurora is far from sour.
I soon discovered that the life of this little yellow apple was not always so glamourous. The folks at the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre in Summerland, BC were on the search to find a new apple that people would love and would not need convincing to buy. As they tested various breeds, yellow apples that showed up in the mix typically got discarded. Yet, one day, they tasted a new cross and were so impressed with the flavour and crunch that the federal agriculture ministry launched a “Name the Apple” campaign to officially bring it to market.
And thus, in 2003 the Aurora Golden apple was born. Yet, the troubles continued still as the light-coloured apple requires delicate handling as it travels to stores. In the beginning, members of the apple supply chain looked at the Aurora Golden apple as an inconvenience, grieving the added care that it demanded. Thankfully, there are other Aurora fanatics out there whose love for these apples outweigh the extra effort. Over a dozen orchards in the Okanagan now grow Aurora Golden apples.
If you’ve visited No. 1 Orchard at the Granville Island Public Market, you’ll know that they specialize in extra-fancy, unwaxed, organic apples. Though this certainly plays into my idolization of the Aurora Golden Gala, I did try 60 different varieties of apples this year at the UBC Botanical Garden Apple Festival…and I stand by the Aurora Golden Gala as my favourite of the lot. (Note: If you’re an apple-lover, the Apple Festival a thing to do in Vancouver to add to your list!) The next time you see this little yellow apple on the centre shelf, you’ll know it has proven its way there!
Thanks for the read, Foodies! Stay hungry!