Red Delicious Apple Review

"Coffee Grinds in a Leather Glove"

Red Delicious Apples

Oh how the mighty have fallen! Believe it or not, the coffee grinds in a leather glove known as “The Red Delicious Apple” was once a robust firebrand credited with reinventing the apple from mere cider-fruit into a full-fledged lunch-worthy sidepiece. It even won the Stark Brothers apple contest in 1894. Likely your great-grandma’s favorite apple, this once flavorful Prometheus has been mass-produced into desolation. 

Nowadays, you can find this thick-skinned, flavorless, mealy imposter unwashed in a dirty wicker basket on the floor of a convenience store.  What a sad state of affairs. It’s time to hang them up old man, your time has passed.

BONUS POINTS: +2 Historical Significance





Red Apple Icon



Red Apple Icon



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Peru, Iowa – USA


19th Century






Stark Delicious, Oregon, Otago,

Red Chief, Red King, Red Spur,

Richared, Starking Starkrimson,


54 thoughts on “Red Delicious Apple Review”

    1. Do you think the Delicious were actually decent originally (or why would anyone eat them??) and have gone downhill from genetic degradation? That’s started happening to some other produce varieties that were mainstays for years, with even growers agreeing they’re not what they used to be.

      1. I believe they were never as good as the top apples of today as they weren’t cross-breeding hundreds of varieties to make the perfect apple. But they definitely were better tasting than the diluted crop of Red Delicious we now have.

        1. Yeah, that’s what I meant. There were heirlooms back then with far more flavor, and I can’t imagine anyone used to those eating a modern Red Delicious by choice. Maybe as a last ditch resort to avoid starvation.

          1. ^Maybe as a last ditch resort to avoid starvation

            Even then, it’s probably not worth it :/

        2. Red Delicious apples have always been nasty as long as I can remember. Apples used to be the last kind of fruit I would eat, mainly because that’s what my parents would buy. I remember Golden Delicious being marginally better. This was back in the 1980s so it’s not a recent memory either.

          1. They aren’t the apple that was actually discovered in Iowa in the 19th century. Those are still around and usually called Hawkeye. Look it up. It’s very different from what Red Delicious became.

      2. That’s gotta be it! I remember them tasting much better in my childhood but as the years wore on they just got worse and worse and worse. Maybe this is a quality thing or a tastebuds evolving thing but I’m still suspicious.

  1. I swear these apples were better in the 80’s. I loved them when I was a kid, my mom couldn’t buy them fast enough as I would eat 3 – 5 of them per day. But some time in the 90’s they went downhill and it became hard to find the crisp ones that I remembered. 90% of the times I have tried a Red Delicious since childhood, it’s been mealy and extremely unappealing. Perhaps it’s my memory that is faulty and that as a kid I didn’t even notice when apples were mealy. But I don’t think so. I think that red delicious once were good.

    1. The thing is they were! But their popularity became their downfall. They were used as “display pieces” more and more, and so they were bred for longevity instead of taste. Their looks became a more profitable selling point than their flavor, so everything that GAVE it the flavor – the interiors of the apple- were bred out to be as long-lasting as possible, resulting in interiors that are incredibly dry. Little fluid means little rot- and little flavor.

    2. I was in elementary school in the 1970s and red delicious apples were terrible even back then. My mom always put one in my lunch box and I threw it in the trash every day. I feel guilty about that now, but I couldn’t stand the texture or the flavor. It seemed like one side was always bruised, but even the unbruised side was awful. I don’t recall seeing my parents EVER eat a red delicious apple! They only bought them for the kids, and for some reason, expected us to eat them even though they wouldn’t.

  2. I have never laughed so hard at someone roasting an apple in my entire life! Except you would never roast a red “delicious”, as it’s better left to rot on the ground under the tree that produced it. I feel bad for the deer that go to the trouble of jumping fences and find these instead.

  3. Cathartic to read some truth telling about these fruit facsimiles. I still remember the horrible sensation of the mealy flesh, and watery flavourlessness of these apples when I was saddled with them in my school lunches throughout the 90s.

  4. The Red Delicious is single handedly the reason so many mid-tier apples are held up as agricultural wonders. After a childhood of eating this handful of gritty snow stuffed into the skin of a dead rat, anything that can pass for actual fruit is a marvel. The lasting legacy of this crime against God and man is to give every mediocre apple on Earth something to look down on and make traumatized consumers say “At least it’s not a Red Delicious” like it was an abusive ex.

  5. Genuinely surprised this wasn’t in last place, like it is in my personal apple ranking. I don’t think I’ve ever had a red “delicious” that wasn’t dry as a desert and bitter skinned.

  6. I ate these as a kid in the early-mid 2000’s and I swear they were /still/ good then. I remember them being crunchy, though they still had a slightly sandy texture, they we’re dense enough to not really care, unless you got a “bad” one. I VERY specifically remember comparing the taste to a blue raspberry slushie. I remember buying my first one as an adult and feeling some of the most immense food disappointment I’ve ever felt. That shit is bleakly nasty, it tastes like tap water with 1 (one) diluted apple flavour droplet, it is alarmingly wet without being juicy, and it’s so soft and sandy I could probably crush one with just my pinkie finger….girl, what happened to you :/

  7. Having looked at your reviews of a dozen or so varieties, I can’t say I agree with a single one of them. Except for Red Delicious. Well, what’s worse than Despicable in your book? Maybe they’re that.

        1. My great grandmother would buy me Red Disgusting apples back in the late ’80s to early ’90s, and I remember them being sweet, crunchy, slightly mealy, with a papery leathery skin. As the years went on they got worse and worse. Then I saw the light, and was graduated to Granny Smith. That sour crispness cannot be rivaled. Overtime I’ve come to love Pink ladies, opal, or braeburn.

  8. I remember hating Red Delicious when I was a kid in the ’70s, as a teenager, and as an adult. I used to wonder how they could taste unripe even when they were mushy, then I stopped caring. A few years ago my local natural foods carried the older variety, and they were pretty good. BTW, here’s a video on how they came to be so bad but so ubiquitous.

  9. Although you may have your points and i do believe youd be correct for most people, i loved these apples growing up, and nowadays, they hit harder than my mother

  10. I don’t think I’ve heard of a single person who enjoys red delicious apples. Sociopaths maybe. They seem to be universally hated and yet without fail, there they are in the fruit and veg aisle. How can they possibly be profitable to sell? Is the product we see in the grocery store actually for the secondary market with their prime customers being livestock? It baffles me.

  11. This review is hilarious and so are the comments.

    The first time I ate a Red Delicious as a kid (circa the late 80s), I thought it was the best apple I’d ever had. For years they were practically the only apple I ate. Then sometime in my mid teens, they stopped tasting good to me. They were suddenly mealy, dry and flavorless and I didn’t understand what had changed. I blamed my inability to find “good” ones and stopped buying them entirely. I don’t know if nostalgia tells me they used to truly be good or if they were never good and I realized it when my tastebuds matured.

    Red Delicious apples prove that humans can destroy anything if it means making a quicker buck. Capitalism is great! /s

  12. now and then you get a good one, and it just makes you sad you couldn’t have been there to experience it’s better days

  13. the ONLY thing these are good for is when you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removed, as they are soft enough to not cause pain.

  14. While I think this is mostly dead-on, I have a couple issues with this review:
    -You list Cortland apples as apples that the Red Delicious is better than, despite giving Cortland apples over double the rating
    -You have Red Delicious maxed out for cost/availability—while they’re certainly found damn near everywhere apples are sold, they’re really not that cheap (at least in my area)

  15. Oh my, everyone hates these. Do I defend the Red Delicious or not? I suppose not, since I know exactly what folks are talking about here. I spent many years where I couldn’t find a good RD, and just wrote them off as bad or “not the same as I remembered.”

    However, my experience with this apple has changed over the years. Like many here (I presume) I eat a ton of apples. Red Delicious is currently in my list of apples to buy at the store. The thing is, you have to be super picky when selecting them. If there is the slightest hint that they are anything but under-ripe you risk getting that mealy flesh. (Most apples you buy are in fact under-ripe by “design.”) Even now, as a decades experienced apple selector, I once in a while get some bad ones, and after biting into them I throw them out. But overall as long as the crop at the particular store looks good, I’ve been having a decent experience with them. They also feature lower tartness which is a positive for me.

  16. I’ve had some good red delicious apples. Key word, SOME. They aren’t consistent at ALL [unlike my favorites, granny smith and honeycrisp], and when they’re bad, they’re hellishly, INTOLERABLY bad. A mealy apple is terrible to you, to my autistic ass a mealy, poorly-textured apple is one of the greatest Texture Sins out there, I’ll toss it after one bite without any guilt or shame.

  17. I just cut and ate a red delicious last week I bought last week, I was shocked at how crisp it was. I only bought a few because I noticed the ones there at the time weren’t glossy like normal, they had a matte finish. I proded at a few and was surprised that they felt firm. It was the crispiest red delicious I’ve ever had. I was astounded. Very crisp and sweet. However, it didn’t taste like anything. It just had a few phenol molecules to only infer it’s an apple, but that was about it. Still, it was crispy and not gagworthy soft like they normally are, so I had no problems eating them all.

  18. Consulted your site yesterday choosing apples to taste test. Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, and Opal were all $1.27/lb and Red Delicious were $2.69. Absolutely appalling. My mom’s theory: “It’s because transport costs twice as much. Once to bring them into the store, once to bring them out to the dumpster.”

  19. These shitty apples ruined apples of any kind for me for 20+ years. I remember the mealy nastiness and the yellowish interior, it was truly repulsive. Thank God for honeycrisp and Fuji’s, they changed my mind about apples.

  20. Friend showed me this site last night and I am so fucking vindicated reading through this. Throughout my high school career my cafeteria couldn’t decide which apple to stock, so every day you’d be rolling the dice of something even halfway decent like a Granny Smith or Gala, or getting stuck with the very aptly put coffee grinds in a glove experience of this fetid beast. I thought I was crazy for not liking these. Thank you.

  21. These (and golden delicious) are actually decent if you pick em ripe off a tree. Very very crisp and incredibly sweet. I have no idea how these get so bad commercially.

  22. i fucking love red delicious and i will not apologize for my blasphemy. they’re great and i will die on this hill.

    then again my favorite candy is black licorice i think i just shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions

  23. Describing the so-called “Red Delicious” as a leather glove filled with sand is horrifically accurate. If any were to ever give me a Red Delicious, I would from there on out assume that they hate me personally and want me to suffer.


    I simply do not trust people that dislike red delicious apples. RD’s are my favorite apple and haters of it are bandwagon riding sheeple that are on the same level as people who are uncomfortable by the word moist or afraid of clowns.

  25. Red Delicious taste must differ between countries… I’m from Germany and have eaten these regularly since my childhood, and I’ve encountered both the “old” and the “new” variant people have mentioned here: The disgusting, mealy, dry, and flavorless ones and the crisp, sweet, and flavorful ones. In my experience, it depends strongly which shop you go to and when in the year you’re buying. At least over here, your best chances at getting a good Red Delicious is during the winter months (November – January), and at local markets or more “fancy” supermarkets (i.e. definitely not ALDI). If you buy these anywhere between March and August, they’ll probably be the mealy variant, perhaps because those are bred to last longer?

    Anyways, never understood why they’re so universally hated. Sure, if you’ve only ever had the bad ones, they are some of the worst apples out there, but the good version is REALLY good and worth “hunting” for, if you can reliably get it somewhere.

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