It is awfully bold of Red Delicious apples to bill themselves as such.
"Delicious?" Maybe if you like sinking your teeth into grainy cardboard covered in a thick skin of regret. Perhaps if you've never sampled literally any other apple varietal.
And yet, there they are. Taking up precious real estate your grocery store produce sections. Filling countertop baskets at your bodegas. Somehow, they've spent more than 50 years enjoying the title of Most Grown Apple in America, ruining boxed lunches and potentially poisoning Snow White along the way.
But we're feeling some schadenfruite over here today. Because this year, at long last, that mealy reign of terror comes to an end.
According to a report from the USApple Association, the Gala is set to surpass Red "Delicious" in 2018. Its production is predicted to jump from 49.5 million units last year to 52.4 million in 2018, while Red "Delicious" numbers are expected to decrease from 57.9 million in 2017 to 51.7 million.
The New York Times notes that this is all due to shifting consumer preferences. No longer satisfied chomping through bland, texturally abhorrent fruit, Americans are going for crisper, sweeter apples. Apples like our very own Honeycrisp: "The Honeycrisp, for example, has soared in popularity, largely on the strength of its crispness and sweetness, since it was developed at the University of Minnesota and released in 1991."
You bet your ass it has. That USApple report calls Honeycrisp "another apple variety to be on the lookout for," as it's positioned to move ahead of Golden Delicious into fifth place this year. Within a year or two, if the numbers keep moving the way they are, the apple will bump both Granny Smith and Fuji to claim a third-place spot.
USApple's director of regulatory and industry affairs says the apple is still gonna stick around for a while; Red Delicious makes up roughly half of our apple exports. (Good! Fine! Get them out of my country and out of my sight!)
“It’s the beginning of the end,” apple historian, orchard consultant, and "admitted Red Delicious detractor" Tom Burford told the New York Times. “How are you going to market a tasteless apple when the consumer has tasted so many good apples?”
Good riddance, Red Disgusting. Rot in hell.