Red delicious, white trash

apple0001.gifI’m just a simple country boy. But after 20 years of urban living I’ve picked up a few things about gourmet food here and there. Sure I don’t always have the most refined tastes, I may enjoy a jar of Jif rather than some organic self-blended peanut butter, for example. And before married life, I did my share of bachelor cooking. Everyone’s tripped the light fantastic and spiced up some Kraft macaroni and cheese with hotdogs – but I actually created my own new bachelor taste sensation: chilighetti. That’s a can of only the best store-bought chili over some finely cooked spaghetti noodles. Mmm, mmm. Don’t you want beans in your pasta? That’s some fine cuisine back in Ohio. Ok, but with all that, I’m not a total ingrate – I can appreciate the finer things in life. I’ve expanded my palette over the years and enjoy quality foods when I can get them.

After (too many) years as a poor struggling musician, a recent increase in income in the last few years has caused me to stop shopping at my old stalwarts like Fred Meyer, Safeway and Food Valu. Instead I now spend way too much money at the New Seasons on Interstate. I enjoy the increased quality of the goods I buy, the organic and sustainable stuff – I’m down with that. But, good God, people – is it too much to ask for the “friendliest store in town” to carry some friggin’ Red Delicious apples?? What’s friendlier that a bright red shiny sweet delicious apple? It’s “America’s favorite apple”, after all!

Ok, New Season’s produce section has an excellent selection of organic produce. And every time I go there I search in vain for my little apple friends. But I am disappointed again and again. And after shopping there regularly, the idea of getting my fruits and veggies at Safeway again gives me the creeps. It’s akin to stepping back behind the counter at Music Millenium, living in a studio apartment in a meth-addled building on Burnside, and having 20 bucks to buy all my groceries for the week again. I just can’t go back. But now I have to make a special trip to Freddie’s or Safeway to get some Red Delicious apples. So, why is this? What does New Seasons have against these apples? Are they just too mainstream, too boring, too white trash? Oh, I’ve tried the other apples, but they’re too tart, too small, not shiny enough, not big enough to cut in half and slather with Jif – frankly, just not red and delicious enough.

But, as it turns out, it looks like America loved the Red Delicious too much. This article in the Washington Post makes the case that years of modifications to the fruit to make it last longer, be more tasty, to have that bright shiny color have actually made it inedible. It’s like the Red Delicious is the fruit world’s Plastic Surgery disaster, the scary Burt Reynolds of botany. So, is New Seasons saving us from ourselves? Or is there some snooty produce buyer somewhere laughing at the thought of stocking something so gauche?

13 Comments so far

  1. Bob R. (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 10:26 pm
  2. divebarwife (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Pete – I’m with ya on the Jiff – that ‘natural’ peanut butter is NASTY…but I will save up all the Red ‘Delicious’ apples that I get in every boxed lunch, on every salad bar, and at every hotel lobby free breakfast… ’cause I can’t stand the things.

    Give me a small, tart, round (why are RD’s all bumpy on the bottom – that’s weird!) apple any day! :D

  3. McAngryPants (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 8:38 am

    You can email them this Q!

    I know for a fact that they’ll respond. More contact goodness here…

  4. Melissa (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 8:40 am

    I see Red Delicious at the New Seasons in Sellwood all the time. Don’t know why they aren’t carried near you. But I agree with divebarwife – with so many good apples grown locally why not expand your tastes? Fujis and Cameos are so good right now!

  5. McAngryPants (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 8:40 am

    w00t! on the right side of the above linky there is a clickly clicky that will score you some "FREE fresh organic blueberries" when you online order before Feb 5th.

    /me stops shilling for NS

  6. pdxrocket (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 8:43 am

    Jif is for those that can’t stand real peanut butter. And red delicious are nasty, try a fuji.

  7. Brandon (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    I recommend Pink Lady apples. They can be tough to find and pricier than Red Delicious but New Seasons should carry them. Best. Apples. Ever.

  8. mb (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    I also believe that a good red delicious is as good as it gets. But when they are icky, they are really icky. Do try the Cameo – they have become my new favorite – with a texture very close to the RD

  9. sabernar (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    Honey Crisp! They’re even better then the Pink Lady apples.

  10. Dustbunny (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

    Even the organic Red Delish apples I’ve tried have been PLEH. Mealy, mushy texture and bland tasting. Now Gala apples…yummm!

  11. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on February 1st, 2008 @ 12:09 am

    If it’s not in a pie I’m not touching it now as for my friends horse he’ll take bites out of it and eat it like every one else dose and you wind up with a sticky wet hand cause he’s a messy eater.

  12. waimin (unregistered) on February 1st, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

    Gotta vote for the good old Mackintosh on this one — they’re juicy, they’re sweet, they’re tart, and they’re big enough to spread with pb (whatever kind you prefer). A very close second would be Granny Smith.

  13. Holy Grail (unregistered) on February 1st, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

    I’m sure the Cherry Sprout Produce Market,722 N. Sumner St.
    (503) 445-4959,9-7 Monday-Saturday,9-6 Sundays will have some Red Delicious. If your ever down in SE just off of Powell and 21st, stop in at People’s Food Co-op,3029 SE 21st (503)232-9051,and try a Black Arkansas, it’s what the Red Delicious was bred from, wonderful deep purple color,with rich almost citrusy after taste.Not sure if they will have them now, there are only a few heirloom orchards who are growing them, so supplies are very limited. Godd luck on your search for the Holy Red Delicious, Americas, and now China’s number 1 apple….Millions of people can’t be wrong..

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