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The Royal Gala Apple

Wanting to know more about the Royal Gala Apple? We’ve got everything you need to know about this delicious fruit. A very special lady is actually rumored to have named it… any guesses?

Read on to learn more about its history, what it tastes like, how to use it, and even how to grow your own Royal Gala apples at home!

Closeeup of a Royal Gala apple on a tree.

Significance and History of the Royal Gala Apple

Royal Gala apples are simply a mutation of Gala apples that was bred specifically for its darker red skin color. To be considered a true Royal Gala, at least 50% of the apple’s thin skin must be a deep red color. They’re naturally lightly striped, too.

Like all strains of Gala, they originated in New Zealand in the early 1900s from a cross between ‘Golden Delicious‘ and ‘Kidd’s Orange,’ which was originally developed by J.H. Kidd.

They got their name when the Queen of England visited New Zealand, tried an apple, and loved them so much that they came to be known as “royal”!

A basket of red Royal Gala apples on a table.
Red Royal Gala apples.

How to Enjoy Eating the Royal Gala Apple

Royal Galas are one of the tastiest, easiest apples to use in a variety of ways! Let’s explore some of the best options.

What does a Royal Gala taste like?

The Royal Gala apple has a sweet, succulent, pear-like flavor. The flesh is crisp and juicy under a thin, dark orange red skin. It’s really the quintessential apple flavor, making it an excellent all-around apple choice.

Royal Gala apples, one cut in half.

What do Royal Galas go with?

Because of their general sweetness, Royal Galas pair well with bold, distinctive flavors such as herbs, ginger, wine, and fresh cheeses.

How can I use Royal Galas in cooking?

Royal Gala apples work really well as an addition to a charcuterie board with cheese, nuts, meats, and accompanied by a full-bodied red wine. You can also add thinly sliced Royal Galas on a grilled sandwich with caramelized onions and brie cheese. Its crispness also makes it a fantastic baking apple because it keeps it from getting mealy.

Here are a few recipe ideas:

Royal Gala Apple Crumble

Royal Gala Apple and Cheddar Quesadillas

Roasted Brats with Royal Gala Apples and Butternut Squash

Caramel apple tart.
Caramel apple tart.

Can I snack on Royal Galas?

This variety of apple is actually a great snacking option! Its firm, crisp flesh takes a while to brown and its medium size makes it easy to eat.

Can kids eat Royal Galas?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, it’s a great option for picky eaters. As mentioned above, this variety of apple takes a little while longer than average to turn brown, so if your kid is notorious for refusing apples after a hint of brown, this is a good solution!

Bowl of chopped apple chunks.

Health Benefits of the Royal Gala Apple

Royal Galas are counted among the 5 healthiest apples around. A large Royal Gala apple contains about 10 mg of vitamin C. That’s a nutrient that helps produce collagen for healthy skin and wound healing as well as supporting your immune system.

The apples also have antioxidants in them, which means they may help fight free radical damage that can lead to health conditions such as cancer or heart disease.

For a more detailed look at the health benefits of apples in general, visit 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples.

How to Grow Royal Gala Apples at Home

Can I grow Royal Gala Apples at home?

If you live in planting zone 5, 6, 7, 8, YES! Read on for some more specifics tips and tricks.

Royal Gala apples on a tree.

Basic Planting and Growing Instructions

The first thing to remember when you’re thinking about planting a Royal Gala apple tree is that you’re planting just that… a tree! It’s not something you can move later, so take that into consideration when you’re deciding where to plant your tree.

For an in-depth look at planting and caring for all kinds of apple trees, check out our Complete Apple Tree Care Guide and How to Plant Apple Trees.

Read on here for a brief overview.

Should I grow from seeds or buy one online?

Buying a young tree from a local nursery or offline is the easiest way to get started. You can find one at various garden retailers.

How far apart should I plant them and how big will they grow to be?

The Royal Gala apple is a fairly large tree. They grow to be about 15 feet tall and have about a 15 foot spread. Because of their size, make sure you plant your trees at least 15 feet apart to account for their fully mature size. Obviously, it will take your trees a while to get that large, but again, you can’t move them! You’ve got to plan and plant with their fully matured size in mind.

Do I need to help with pollination?

Royal Galas must be cross-pollinated with a different apple variety to produce fruit. You don’t necessarily need to help with the actual pollination, but you do need to have a variety of apple trees around in order to guarantee a good apple harvest.

Royal Gala apples on an espaliered tree.

How do I care for them? Fight pests and diseases? Pruning?

Royal Gala apple trees are a pretty hardy variety of apples, but you can always check out our list of 10 Apple Tree Diseases: How to Identify and Treat Them for a more in depth look at what’s possible.

Pests are easy to fight if you know what you’re dealing with! Gardening Know How has a great article to help you identify what pest you’re fighting and gives some ideas on how to knock them out.

Pruning is essential for a bountiful harvest! It’s easier and less intimidating than you may think. We’ve got a guide for you, all about How to Prune Apple Trees!

When will my Royal Gala apples be ready to harvest?

In the Northern hemisphere, Royal Galas are ready to be harvested between late August and late September. In the Southern hemisphere, the apples are harvested between early February and early March.

Wrapping up the Royal Gala Apple

Royal Gala apples on an espaliered apple tree branch.

This crowdpleaser is great, readily available apple option. With a fascinating history and delicious flavor profile, it’s a great choice of apple to enjoy.

Let us know in the comments below—what’s your favorite way to enjoy a Royal Gala apple?

Excited for more apple content? Visit our apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!