By Natalie Sell | January 30, 2019
For years, the Red Delicious apple was the American favorite. Which begs the question: why?
To me, Red Delicious apples have almost no redeeming qualities. They taste like styrofoam. The skin is tough. Even the uniform five-pronged bottom seems unnatural to me. But maybe that’s why people like them. Their perfectly structured, identical beauty draws people in with promises of sweet juice, only to break those promises as soon as teeth break into the apple. Which is hardly an easy task, considering the toughness of the bitter skin.
So why was it so popular for so many years? Why not other, better apples, with more appealing texture, taste, and appearance? I’m here to answer that question.
The apple first started gaining popularity in a time when American society centered around organization and shiny beauty. Citizens strived to portray a perfect family and perfect house to attest to their competence and superiority. Are we really that shallow? Apparently so.
As consumers continued to buy the shiny apples, orchards kept expanding. Commercial producers profited off of the apples’ long-lasting qualities. However, these qualities came at a price. While the thick skin made it more durable in transport and resistant to damage, it also added an unpleasant leathery texture to the apple. Companies continued to breed it selectively, always choosing appearance over taste.
But now the dynamic has changed. Fewer and fewer people are picking Red Delicious off the shelves, opting instead for better tasting apple varieties: Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady, and far more.
Despite the decline in popular opinion, the Red Delicious continues to be served in schools, hospitals, and hotels, where consumers have little choice in the food options. Within Greenhills, the piles of Red Delicious in the cafeteria grow as the Gala apples are picked out from among them. Interviews from fellow students attest to this fact as they express their distaste for the sickly sweet fruit.
“Red Delicious is disgusting, and it’s a capitalist scheme,” claimed one student.
“You know those styrofoam apples that people put in fake fruit bowls? Yeah. Red Delicious is like those,” said another.
The students have spoken. Red Delicious no longer reigns, and should be replaced by its more complex and flavorful peers.