Why the Red Delicious No Longer Is


Another example of greed dictating (literally) public taste… or in this case, lack thereof. I don’t like Red Delicious apples, but I would never have guessed that their awful taste was due less to natural reasons than ‘manufactured’ ones: “Who’s to blame for the decline of Red Delicious? Everyone, it seems. Consumers were drawn to the eye candy of brilliantly red apples, so supermarket chains paid more for them. Thus, breeders and nurseries patented and propagated the most rubied mutations, or “sports,” that they could find, and growers bought them by the millions, knowing that these thick-skinned wonders also would store for ages.

“Did they do it because it has less flavor? Obviously not,” said Eugene M. Kupferman, a post-harvest specialist at Washington State University’s tree fruit research center in Wenatchee, Wash. “They did it because it has better legs and they are getting more money for it.””

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