The story of Red Delicious can be seen as a parable for modern food production. Discovered in 1875 as a chance seedling growing in Iowa, the original “Hawkeye” or “Delicious” apple did in fact have a delicious flavor. But as breeders selected strains that were redder, more uniform in shape, and yielded more apples per tree, that deliciousness was lost, and the bland variety we know today was born. Nonetheless, when picked ripe, Red Delicious still has echoes of the mild sweet flavor and aroma of its ancestry.
April 14, 2018