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In defense of the Red Delicious apple

A couple of editors described it as "the worst apple ever." The words “boring” and “mealy” were thrown about.
Raw Organic Red Delicious Apples
The Red Delicious apple: Is it really the worst apple ever?Getty Images stock
/ Source: TODAY

For some, it’s likely the best news they’ve heard all week: The Red Delicious is no longer America’s most popular apple.

For more than 50 years, the Red Delicious has been the most-produced variety of apple in the U.S. But no longer: It is expected to yield its top spot to the Gala, according to a 2018 forecast by the U.S. Apple Association.

The announcement elicited a strong reaction from several TODAY staffers who believe the Red Delicious isn’t so delicious. The words “boring” and “mealy” were thrown about. A couple of editors described it as "the worst apple ever."

They are not alone in thinking the Red Delicious deserved to be brought down a notch. A New York Times headline regarding the announcement read, “The Long, Monstrous Reign of the Red Delicious Apple Is Ending.” The CBC declared, “Red (not so) Delicious apple no longer the most popular.” And HuffPost definitely didn’t hold back in a recent assessment of the Red Delicious.

“Is the Red Delicious really that bad?” I asked my colleagues. While it’s not my go-to variety of apple (I do love the Gala, among others), I do eat it from time to time, and I’ve never harbored such negative feelings for it. I needed to reevaluate my opinion of the Red Delicious.

As it happens, there was a fruit vendor nearby the office that sold Red Delicious apples, so I briefly stepped out to buy one. I gave it a wash and then immediately took a bite.

A sign at the vendor promised that its Red Delicious apples had a “juicy” and “crisp” taste. The one I picked up was crispy, for sure … and red. Juicy and delicious? Debatable. Mealy and boring? I don’t think so. A monster? Unquestionably not. In fact, I’m still eating the apple as I write this.

Poison Candy Apples

Oct. 13, 201701:05

I never thought the Red Delicious was a bad little apple. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.

So let’s lay off the Red Delicious a little, OK? It was the top apple in America for five decades. That’s hardly a boring accomplishment.