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.





Red Apple Icon



Red Apple Icon



Red Apple Icon




Peru, Iowa – USA


19th Century






Stark Delicious, Oregon, Otago,

Red Chief, Red King, Red Spur,

Richared, Starking Starkrimson,


31 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. 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 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.

  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.

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