The yellow apples were discovered in an orchard in Ohio in the early 21st century and were selected for their unusual coloring, crisp texture, and sweet, mild flavor.
The apples are sometimes nicknamed Yellow Galas.
Blondee® apples were discovered as a spontaneous mutation of gala apples in an orchard in Portsmouth, Ohio. The sport apples were noticed by McLaughlin Orchard owners Tom & Bob McLaughlin sometime around the year 2000. They were selected for their unusual coloring as they had a pale-yellow appearance, while their parent variety, the gala apple, was traditionally bright red.
Blondee® apples have had their greatest success among u-pick orchards throughout the “Apple Belt” of Michigan. Also known as Michigan’s “Fruit Belt,” the region is comprised of a narrow stretch of land along the western state border that has a temperate climate due to Lake Michigan moderating weather extremes. The Fruit Belt also receives enough rainfall to maintain the region’s fertile soil composition, and over time, the state has developed this area into a site for agrotourism, where visitors can tour farms, purchase fruit, and participate in food-themed events. The region was given this nickname in the late 1800s, and throughout the 1900s, several billboards were promoting the famous belt, and farm stands were established along the roadways to sell fruit to passing motorists.
In the present day, Blondee® apples are grown in many of the orchards throughout the Fruit Belt, and the variety is favored for its long ripening period. Blondee® apples can remain on the tree for at least 2 to 3 weeks and are the only yellow variety to ripen during the early season, creating a pleasant visual contrast on the apple trees. Many of the u-pick orchards have commented that visitors select Blondee® apples for their unique appearance, and the apples have become the second most popular u-pick apple, just behind honeycrisp.