The Colors of August: Ginger Gold and Paula Red

Ginger Gold apples, Riverview Farm, Plainfield, New Hampshire. (Russell Steven Powell)

APPLES COME IN MANY SHADES, mostly reds, greens, and yellows. Two of the best early season apples include their color in their names: Ginger Gold and Paula Red. They are ripe now at many New England orchards. 

Other than color, Ginger Gold and Paula Red share a number of similarities. They both ripen in mid-August. The flesh of both apples is slow to brown when sliced, making them good for salads. 

Both varieties are relatively new, discovered in the 1960s as chance seedlings in orchards, Ginger Gold in Lovingston, Virginia, in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and Paula Red in Sparta Township, Michigan.

In addition to their characteristic color, both apples were named after the wives of the farmers who discovered them

Ginger Gold apple. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Ginger Gold is a medium to large, round to conical apple with a smooth, green-yellow skin, often with a light pink blush. Its crisp, juicy, white flesh has outstanding flavor, sweet but with a little tartness. It is good for both cooking and fresh eating, especially in salads.

Ginger Gold was discovered in the orchard of Clyde and Ginger Harvey. Clyde Harvey originally wanted to name it “Harveylicious,” but a marketing consultant persuaded him to use his wife’s name instead. 

Paula Red apple. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Paula Red has striking red color with occasional light yellow or green striping and prominent white pores, or lenticels. Paula Red’s tender white flesh is sweet-tart, with a hint of strawberry. It is good for both cooking and fresh eating.

Paula Red was discovered by grower Lewis Arends from a chance seedling near a block of McIntosh trees, and named after Arends’ wife, Pauline. Its sweet-tart flavor and two-toned color suggest Paula Red may have McIntosh in its parentage.

Visit our Orchard Finder to see who has Ginger Gold and Paula Red, and as always, call ahead to find out what’s picking.

Paula Red apples, Steere Orchard, Greenville, Rhode Island. (Russell Steven Powell)