Red Delicious, that most vile breed of Apple, no longer America's favorite

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 spreadWhy the disgusting Red Delicious apple rules American grocery storesWhy the most horrible apple in the world is also the most grown\

Photo: Zajac (CC) Read the rest “Red Delicious, that most vile breed of Apple, no longer America's favorite”

Why the disgusting Red Delicious apple rules American grocery stores

It started off as a celebrated, gorgeous mutation in an Iowa orchard, spread across the land, and was then selectively bred to look redder, bruise less, and ripen on the truck -- all at the cost of flavor and texture. Read the rest “Why the disgusting Red Delicious apple rules American grocery stores”

How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread

"As genes for beauty were favored over those for taste, the skins grew tough and bitter around mushy, sugar-soaked flesh." — Sarah Yager, writing for the Atlantic on the Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

I prefer Fuji apples.

Image: NPR Read the rest “How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread”

Why the most horrible apple in the world is also the most grown

Despite almost universal agreement that basically defines "so boring as to become disgusting", the Red Delicious apple continues to be the most-grown variety in the US. More than 50,000 bushels of the vile things are turned out every year. This story by Rowan Jacobsen in Mother Jones explains the Red Delicious' undeserved success and follows the stories of entrepreneurs who are trying to bring back varieties of apple long lost to the consumer market. Read the rest “Why the most horrible apple in the world is also the most grown”