The Red Delicious—picture-perfect on the outside but mealy, clammy, fleshy yet flavorless within—is no longer America's favorite apple. The Gala overtook it, and hopefully the noble Granny Smith will further dethrone it soon.
Red Delicious' slippage will be mourned by few. As Sarah Yager wrote in the Atlantic in a history of the variety a few years ago, the Red Delicious is a "paradox": "alluring yet undesirable, the most produced and arguably the least popular apple in the United States." They're gorgeous to look at, like a cartoon apple landed in your real-life fruit bowl. It has a deep-red color and perfectly unblemished skins; its bodies always taper to a perfect little five-pointed bottom. But its flesh tastes—as the two enthusiasts who run the apple fan website Orange Pippin write—too sweet, "like a slightly over-ripe melon"; also, "the skin can be quite tough." In understated tones, Orange Pippin's expert apple-tasters add: "Overall Red Delicious can be quite a refreshing apple to eat, but its chief characteristic is that it has almost no flavor at all."
The Red Delicious is the perfect symbol of American culture. Its attractive surface doesn't just hide the rot beneath, it tells you up front how great it tastes.
Previously in the disgusting Red Delicious apple:
• How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread
• Why the disgusting Red Delicious apple rules American grocery stores
• Why the most horrible apple in the world is also the most grown\
Photo: Zajac (CC)