The Red Delicious is an apple atrocity. Why are we growing billions of pounds of them each year?


Very nice read. A history of this much maligned apple


They grow them because somebody buys them.


They grow them because some people like the taste. With good handling, red delicious can be a decent apple, especially the original which happens to be very hard to find these days. Contrary to that article, I like the slight bitterness of the skin as a contrast to the sweetness of the apple. If mis-handled or over ripened, Red Delicious tastes lousy, mealy, and bland. I’ve had Galas and Braeburns that were far worse. I’ve tried 20 or 30 of the newer varieties over the last 20 years. Most were disappointing. Fuji arguably is my favorite so far. The best I recall, Red Delicious is one of the parents of Fuji.


The article is interesting and I agree with much of what they say. Im in my mid 40s now and I cant tell you the last time Ive eaten a red delicious that was palatable. Ive spent a lot of time staying in hotels the last 10 years and they almost exclusively provide it on their continental breakfast. Its dirt cheap becuase nobody would pay the current retail pricing for it when compared to pink lady or the other top selling varieties. Interesting to read about it being so heavily exported. Typically around here you dont see it much in local markets like you used to. Many grocers typically sell it in 5lb bags or as loose lunchbox sized apples.


Red Delicious happens to be my apple of choice. There is nothing
better than a hard crunchy sweet RD. The stores here, sell every variety
of apple in 5 lb. bags, not just RD. It outsells other varieties, because it’s
the apple of choice, not because it may commercially be sold in bulk in
some locations. It’s sold that way, because most people enjoy eating it.
If they didn’t, it wouldn’t sell.


I’d rather eat cardboard then a red delicious. Lol.


Wait . . . I thought RD were made from cardboard. ? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Problem is unless you grow the OG strain yourself a hard crunchy RD is virtually unattainable from the store.


You and I obviously don’t shop at the same stores. I have no difficulty
in finding good RD.


Not everyone prefers the same thing…even unattractive women usually obtain a mate.

I will say Fuji is the best cross or offspring of the Red Delicious I have come across. Ambrosia not
nearly as good.

(It may have been more than 50 years ago, but I have eaten the original Hawkeye delicious, and it was very juicy even if not very red.) Even so, I don’t want to grow it, for I can always go out and buy a RD if I want one.


I think there is much confusion surrounding this variety. The folks that have had 1 of the original variety orchard rippend have a much different view of this apple than those buying whats labeled as such at a grocery store.


i never liked either of the delicious varieties. i refer tart apples. overly sweet is unappealing to me, thats why i prefer the older cultivars. breeders are always trying to make apples sweeter. i. wish they would concentrate more on improving the quality of tart apples instead. I’m a y. transparent, granny smith cortland type of guy.only way id eat a delicious is if I’m starving.


And the only way I’d eat those three would be with some sugar sprinkled on them! (Or, just before they begin to rot.)


Most Granny Smith are usually picked all green, nothing close to ripe. I’ve had some at the end of the season where there is a decent amount of blush (maybe 30%) where they are still tart, but not bad to eat. They are also a decent keeper.

Cortland can also have a decent amount of sweet to it. At least it is better than Macs :slight_smile:

I haven’t had too many Yellow Transparent and the few I’ve had leave me unable to defend them…


Here’s a link to a pic of a granny smith with some blush that I was able to let ripen last year. Lowest temps for apples on the tree?
I originally grafted half of this tree over to other varieties because I thought granny smith would be too late to ripen. It was able to hang on until the first full week of November, however, and took several nights in the 20’s and tasted very good.


A few large commercial growers I have spoken with in NC and Va have trouble selling their RD and are reducing their RD acreage.

Unfortunately when they remove and replace the RD with something else it takes a long time to break-even on the investment in new trees (8-10 years). Topworking is less expensive but still reduces the orchard’s revenue for some time.

I have also noticed that growers who used to sell 100% of their crop wholesale, now sell a portion through Pick Your Own or directly from the farm to the consumer.


RD acreage has been steadily declining for years. I think it is now #5 or so in the US for retail sales.

I remember good RD from when I was a kid, but I haven’t had a good one in years now.


Yep, the acreage on RD is way down, but not nearly as much as you would expect after a drop to the number 5 slot in US sales from number 1. Apparently quite a few regions of the world still prefer solid red apples so a lot of the RD are exported.

Very interesting report for 2017 acreage by variety in Washington. Check out page 10. RD acreage is number 2 but only slightly less than Gala acreage which is number 1


A deer hunting friend told me that the deer won’t even eat a red delicious apple


Fascinating trends in that table. 4,300 acres of Cameo in 2006, but only 10 years later most of those have been ripped out or grafted over, and it is down to only 509 acres in 2017.