The Red Delicious Lie

March 27, 2009 at 12:25 am

Red Delicious?

The Red Delicious is a very handsome apple. Unfortunately, every bite I’ve ever taken has been decidedly UNdelicious, with a taste that I can only describe as “brown“.

What is it about these thick, waxy skinned apples with their mealy inner flesh that earns them their prominent position in the produce isle? Grocery stores, dining centers, even gas stations carry them. Are they just that cheap? Have they simply been grandfathered in from an earlier time? Do they simply have a teeny tiny window of perfect ripeness that I always miss? Or perhaps I have developed into one of those food snobs, the kind that can eat crackers and soft cheese with wine and call it a meal (I believe most people would call that a snack), rendering my palette incapable of appreciating the basic appeals of a basic apple?

I have no answers, but wiki undoubtedly does. Apparently the original cultivar was a sweet, yellow thing, but after years of being “optimized for color and durability for major supermarket chains” at the cost of taste and texture, the Red Delicious was delicious no more. In the 1980s the Red Delicious made up 3/4 of Washington state’s apple harvest, but since then has shrunk to less than 37%. It’s too bad, but I think that we’ll all be much happier with our Fuji, Braeburn, and Pink lady apples.

So if you see a pretty red apple in the store under the Red Delicious label, just remember…

It’s a trap!

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Entry filed under: Babble.

You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you think anything but headshots will do. Natsume Yūjin Chō – Season 2


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