|Malus domestica 'Gala'|
|Hybrid parentage||'Kidd's Orange Red' × 'Golden Delicious'|
|Origin||New Zealand, 1920s|
Gala is a clonally propagated apple with a mild and sweet flavor. Gala apples ranked at number 2 in 2006 on the US Apple Association's list of most popular apples, after Red Delicious and before Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji (in order).
Appearance and flavor
Gala apples are small and are usually red with a portion being greenish or yellow-green, vertically striped. Gala apples are fairly resistant to bruising and are sweet, grainy, with a mild flavor and a thinner skin than most apples. Quality indices include firmness, crispness, and lack of meal worms. Gala apples are sweet and aromatic, with a size that fits nicely into a child's hands. It can be added in salads, or cooked, and are especially suitable for creating sauces.
The first Gala apple tree was one of many seedlings resulting from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd's Orange Red planted in New Zealand in the 1930s by orchardist J.H. Kidd. Donald W. McKenzie, an employee of Stark Bros Nursery, obtained a US plant patent for the cultivar on October 15, 1974. The variety is also an increasingly popular option for UK top fruit farmers. It is a relatively new introduction to the UK, first planted in commercial volumes during the 1980s. The variety now represents about 20% of the total volume of the commercial production of eating apples grown in the UK, often replacing Cox's Orange Pippin.
Many sports of Gala have been selected, mostly for increased red color, including the popular Royal Gala. The original cultivar produced fruit with orange stripes and a partial orange blush over a yellow background. Since then, several un-patented sports have been recognized. Additionally, more than twenty sports have received US plant patents:
|Date||"Inventor"||Marketed as||Mutated From||Assignee||Habit||Pattern||Earlier||Color||Plant Patent Number|
|Oct 15, 1974||McKenzie||Gala||-||Stark||standard||partial blush||-||yellow|
|Oct 4, 1977||Ten Hove||Royal Gala, Tenroy||Gala3637||Stark||standard||stripe||-||red|
|May 10, 1988||Creech||Scarlet Gala||Kidd's D-83637||C & 0||standard||blush||-||scarlet|
|Aug 1, 1989||Kiddle||Galaxy||Tenroy4121||Stark||standard||stripe||earlier||intense red|
|Dec 18, 1990||Cooper||Treco Spur Red Gala No. 42, Regal||Auvil||Oregon Rootstock||spur||stripe||-||red|
|Jul 16, 1991||Fulford||Fulford||Kidd3637||standard||blush||-||bright red|
|Mar 1, 1994||Olsen||Obrogala, UltraRed||Tenroy4121||Stark||standard||stripe||2–4 days||redder|
|Apr 5, 1994||Waliser||Waliser Gala||Tenroy4121||Waliser||standard||stripe||10 days||bright red|
|May 10, 1994||Hill||Applewaites||Kidd's3637||standard||blush||2–3 days||more complete red|
|Nov 5, 1996||Olsen||Olsentwo Gala, Pacific Gala||Royal Gala4121||standard||stripe||5–10 days||distinguishably different|
|Sep 2 1997||Brookfield||Baigent||Royal Gala4121||Brookfield||standard||stripe||extremely early||bright red|
|Nov 11 1997||Gale||Gale Gala||Royal Gala4121||Van Well||standard||stripe||3 weeks||more complete|
|Jun 23, 1998||Fackler||Big Red Gala||Kidd's3637||Protree||standard||stripe||-||same|
|Mar 30, 1999||Simmons||Simmons||Imperial||Peace Valley||standard||stripe||21 days||brighter red|
|Jan 18, 2000||Stiekema||Stiekema 1||Obragala8621||standard||blush||-||red|
|Apr 11, 2000||McSpadden, Jr||Caitlin||Tenroy4121||Stark||standard||stripe||"earlier"||-|
|Aug 13, 2002||Black||Harry Black||Kidd's3637||International Plant Management||standard||stripe||5 wk. later||-|
|Apr 29, 2003||Banning||Banning Gala||Imperial||standard||stripe||-||intense red blush, darker stripe|
|Jan 6, 2004||Smith||Smith gala||Tenroy4121||standard||stripe||-||yellow|
|May 4, 2004||Weaver||Weaver||Fulford7589||Adams County Nursery||more compact||blush||-||bright red|
|Jan 4, 2005||Ligonniere||Dalitoga||Imperial||SNC Elaris||standard||stripe||3 wk.||yellow|
|Aug 15, 2006||Burkitt||Burkitt Gala||Tenroy4121||BMA Trust||standard||stripe||10 d.||completely red|
|Feb 26, 2008||McDonald||El Niño||Royal4121||standard||intense dark red stripe||bright red|
|Jul 8 2008||McLaughlin||McLaughlin Gala||Kidd's3637||standard||4—6 d.||yellow|
|Dec 30, 2008||Fankhauser||Alvnia||Gala||Fankhauser||standard||stripes||"earlier"||red, > 95A% coverage|
|Apr 14, 2009||Richard||Galaval||Galaxy6955||Pepinieres du Valois||standard||blush||-||intense dark purple brown|
Unpatented varieties include: Auvil, Imperial
- Delfloga (Royal Gala × Florina)
- Jazz (Royal Gala × Braeburn)
- Envy (Royal Gala × Braeburn)
- Nicoter (Gala × Braeburn) 
Gala apples are grown from May through September in the northern hemisphere, but, like most apples, are available almost all year through the use of cold storage and controlled atmosphere storage. Australian Gala are available from late January. California fruit is available until October. While the season usually lasts only 9 or 10 months, they are able to last all year round. However due to some apples continuing to be grown in some orchards, and the fact that they can be refrigerated for some months, leads to the availability of the Gala apple year round in some Australian markets. These usually taste different (slightly less sweet) from those in season.The UK season begins in late summer (August). Storage makes the UK fruit available nearly year round as with fruit from other origins.
Royal Gala cultigen
Royal Gala is a cultigen made from a redder sport of the Gala apple in the 1970s. It is a pink-red dessert apple and is therefore usually eaten fresh. Royal Galas are usually harvested in early to late February in the southern hemisphere. In New Zealand the pinker original Gala has about disappear as a commercial apple in favour of the darker skinned Royal cultivar. Now when most people in New Zealand say "Gala", they mean "Royal Gala", and are not aware of the difference.
The optimum temperature for storing apples is between -1° and 1°C (30 to 34°F), and the optimum relative humidity is 90 to 95%. Ethylene gas can speed ripening and spoilage and reduce firmness of apples, as with many other fruit.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gala (apple).|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2008)|
- US plant patent 3637
- US plant patent 7396
- United States Patent PP17201
- Elizabeth J. Mitcham, Carlos H. Crisosto and Adel A. Kader. "Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality". Postharvest Technology Research Information Center. Retrieved 2010-10-08.