any votes for red delicious?

cousinfloydMay 16, 2013

As popular as red delicious is in supermarkets I'm wondering if it has any fans among fruit enthusiasts. It's never impressed me as a variety, but I never buy them, and I honestly can't really remember eating one (although I'm sure I've eaten plenty, especially as a child.) I figure it would be really uncool for a fruit enthusiast to like a red delicious even if it were a really good apple. It might be like an ornamental tree enthusiast that worked at an arboretum wanting to plant a Bradford pear in his suburban yard at home: if you were really into trees, you probably just couldn't really like what the masses like. So is red delicious better than fruit enthusiasts are willing to admit? Or have productivity and cosmetics and shelf life completely trumped taste?

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

If an apple that looks good, nice and red, makes it taste good to you, then go ahead and grow it. This is an apple that would never pass a "blind tasting". Al

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:37AM
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I like a fresh, crisp RD. I think they've been maligned because of the oversized mushy ones in the supermarket.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I've had the fruits of the original Hawkeye Delicious(not from the ortet), straight off the tree, and it was a pretty good apple - but you wouldn't recognize it alongside the various 'redder' sports that have been selected and propagated over the years. It's not solid red, or nearly so conical in shape.
Think we initially planted one of the RD selections when we started out, but it's long gone, and I have no plans to replace it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


These day a lot of orchards are replacing Red Delicious apples with Fuji apples.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:02AM
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RD has gotten a bad rap from being overplanted and lousy, mushy stock in grocery stores. A fresh RD off the tree is crisp, juicy and delightful. I don't think they are very good keepers though. And they are for sure extremely vulnerable to black spot. The worst of any tree I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:46PM
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alan haigh

I vote to throw it off the island.

Actually some strains are pretty good- just boring. I don't think we have the best weather for it. Some of the really dark red strains are horrid.

It's also an ugly tree.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I've never liked them, even as a child. They always seemed too bland to me (even fresh); I like a more complex flavor in an apple. I wouldn't call myself an "enthusiast" either.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:24PM
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megamav(5a - NY)


Golden Delicious, from hanging on then tree directly to 6 weeks in storage is a different beast. Close to heavenly IMO.

Kidd's Orange Red saves the Delicious strain from total abandonment in my yard.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:53PM
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alan haigh

I think Yellow or Golden Delicious has also suffered from tinkering and that old strain, that is prone to russetting, is superior to some of the new ones. I used to manage a site that had some really old trees and had replaced others that died with a newer strain that wasn't as sweet and ripened a week or two sooner. Perfect smooth skin though.

There is a fully russetted strain of it that's supposed to be exceptionally good.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:03AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Red delicious is the worst representative of the apples. I used to think RD was the standard. Apples, whoopee! Apples that broke me out of the funk include cortland, when good. Yellow delicious,
suncrisp, jonagold. And they keep getting better. RD is inferior in many respects. I'm glad I don't grow it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:31AM
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If anything I think its been over planted and we have "better" tasting varieties for fresh eating.

I do remember reading quite often that red delicious is a better cooking apple. IF you bake, or someone you know does it migh tbe worth wild. Also depends on your pallet.

I find the red delicious from the store grainy, lacking in taste, bitter skin as well as being soft fleshed. I think there are some improved types like "Red chief" that I couldnt tell you how they tasted.

IF youre looking for a "delicious" apple, go for the golden delicious. Better taste by far for fresh eating.

Again, fro what ive read (and done) red delicious is great for baking. IF thats your intention nothing wrong with an "older" type.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:59AM
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alan haigh

Red Delicious for cooking- not if you want some acid- and most cookers have it although yellow delicious is very low acid and a popular cooker (I learned from Scott that it's France's most popular one- which is pretty weird). But unlike RD, YD has fantastic bouquet.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:02PM
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I have one that's been in the ground since '91. It was another Stark Bros mislabel. My planting map and label had it as apricot, so after a few years and nothing happening, I assumed I must need another apricot and put another one close by. I wasn't paying much attention to things fruit tree related back then, as they were all new and I'd not had fruit trees before so the concept to identify by leaf, etc was foreign to me. I just assumed things took awhile to make a fruit. Well, a couple more years go by and there are apples. RD apples. They are by a long shot my least favorite of the apples I have, but they are several times better than anything store bought. I think the key is to leave them on the tree longer than you think. They can look real deep red and ripe quite awhile before they really are in my opinion. But still, I would not own one if it wasn't an accident.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:10PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Oh my gosh, there are SO many better cultivars than RD. Harvestman said it, it's boring. Try a Red Fuji and you'll never, ever eat a RD again. Especially you being in zone 7. Promise, cross my heart :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:02PM
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jayco(5b NY)

When we moved to our house the woman who sold it to us did not know what variety of apple the three trees on the property were. There was also a tree nearby on the neighbor's property.

Ours turned out to be early McIntosh while the neighbor's is a Red Delicious. They ripen at different times so we often give the neighbor apples and they give us some, and let's just say we feel very, very lucky we got the Macs.

Even right off the tree I find the RDs supremely bland and uninteresting. But, they are better than no apples at all.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:21PM
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