Gala apples have become a popular choice for apple lovers around the world. With their sweet and crisp flavor, beautiful red and yellow skin, and versatility in cooking and snacking, it’s no surprise that these apples have gained such a following.

From being used in pies and salads to being eaten straight from the tree, Gala apples have become a staple in households and markets alike.

In this article, we will explore the history, characteristics, and benefits of Gala apples, as well as some creative ways to enjoy this beloved fruit.

For in-depth pricing and production information on apples, please look at the apple price insights and apple production and season insights, specifically for the US.

What are gala apples?

Gala apples, known botanically as Malus domestica ‘Gala,’ are cultivated apple tree varieties that bear reddish orange heart-shaped fruits with stripes of a yellowish green color near the stalk.  They have a tart but sweet taste that most apple lovers relish. They are also the most common fruits of their genus in the market and you can find them in many stores across the United States.

Owing to their mostly sweet flavor, gala apples are eaten raw without peeling. You can also transfer the less than 100 gala apple calories to the serving plate as a salad with other fruits, or as a cooked fruit pie.

Gala apple tree, a semi-dwarf kind, grows up to fifteen feet high but there are dwarf cultivars that reach only ten feet high. The trees get their pollination during spring from other cultivars growing nearby, with the two most popular pollinators being Fuji and yellow delicious apple trees.

If you’re from the US, you may also like to read some comprehensive US apple market insights.

The origin of gala apples

The origin of Gala apples goes back to the Oceania region in the 1930s when a botanist made a cross between Golden Delicious and Orange Red apple species.

Gala apples first came to the United States in 1974 when Donald W. McKenzie, then working with a nursery company, got a patent to grow the cultivar in the country.  The apple-growing belt of the US is the Western state of California and the Northwest state of Washington. From hence, other countries obtained licenses to propagate the hybrid tree, with the UK growing it commercially in the early part of the 1980s.

Gala apples taste

The fruit is quite sweet with little of the spicy flavor you find in Fuji apples. Though a bit tart in some parts, the general sweetness and crunchy texture makes it one of the incomparable apples in terms of raw consumption and salad-making.

Gala apples nutrition

  • How many calories in a gala apple: you will get 56 to 57 gala apple calories per serving. This goes up to 89 calories for a big-sized fruit weighing 150 grams.
  • How many carbs in a gala apple: each apple has 13.7 to 14.9 grams or 11 percent of the Daily Value of carbohydrates.
  • Other nutrients in gala apples include sucrose at 2.78 grams, fructose at 5.93 grams, and glucose at 1.66 grams.
  • Nutrition components outside energy content  includes 108 milligrams of Potassium for good fluid circulation in the body, Vitamin K at 1.3 ug units per serving, 128 IU units of Vitamin A for good sight, and most importantly, 85.8 grams of water content.

Related: calories, carbs and proteins in sugar apples

How long does it take for a gala apple tree to produce fruit

Before you can enjoy plucking that yellowish orange or reddish fruit with its green stripes along its top off its dwarf tree’s branches, you have to wait two to three years after planting.

The gala apple tree grows from the propagation planting method: that is, you graft its cultivar onto an existing root stock and provide the necessary conditions for proper growth.

  • Use of compost manure to improve the sprouting of a root stock that is no more than six inches long.
  • The seedling and fully grown tree will require eight hours of full sunshine daily.
  • Gala apple trees blossom in spring, gain fruit in summer and are ready for harvesting in fall.

Gala apple uses

Almost 29% of all fruits that children in the United States eat year round are apples, with the majority being Gala, which gives a hint to their popularity.

Whether it is to reap gala apple calories to the maximum or to just enjoy it as a part of a larger fruit recipe, here are some handy gala apple uses:

  • Eating raw for their crunchy texture and sweet taste.
  • Making sauces.
  • Including them in fruit salads.
  • Making apple juice.
  • Serving as baked food with oatmeal/yogurt recipes.

The price of gala apples in US

The USDA price index indicates the April, 2023 price per pound for Gala apples in most retail stores in the US was $1.58. 

Where to find and buy gala apples in US

There are major grocery stores where you can purchase gala apples in the US, ranging from your local grocery store to online shops. Major retail stores include:

  • Sam’s Club &
  • Starr Ranch Growers

Online platforms include Amazon and Instacart.

How to pick the best gala apples when buying

It takes a careful selection to obtain healthy unspoiled gala apples from the store. Here is a guide on picking the best of these when out and about your local store:

  • Go for color: ripe gala apples turn slightly golden yellow like the Yellow Delicious variety, but bear reddish or orange stripes over the ripened areas.
  • Choose clear skin: like almost any other good fruit, the best gala apples should be ideally those whose skin is smooth as this indicates inner fitness.
  • Choose mature fruits: skip very green fruits as these need more time to ripen. Do not also go for overripe ones as they may not do well without home refrigeration.

Once you have bought your golden reds, you need to preserve the gala apple calories and other other nutrients in them by sealing the fruits in plastic and keeping them in a coolant.

Gala apple substitutes

You may also like to gun for Gala apple substitutes with similar taste, color and texture.  Most Americans like the tarty sweetness of the Galas but since these do not last past fall, the next best thing is usually Granny Smith apples.

These green-yellow apples are not as sweet, and are in fact on the sour side, but all the same, they create a near similar tart taste as that of the Galas.  Other substitutes include Jazz and Envy.

So, which is your favorite aspect of gala apples? Is it the sweetness packed by the gala apple calories or is it the crunchy texture? Either way, you will  definitely conclude that these apples rank among the most popular in America today.