My, How the Mighty Has Fallen.

After more than a half century of being America’s favorite apple, the Red Delicious has fallen from the Tree of Popularity.

As the end of 2018 rolls around, the Gala will officially be Number One. The Red Delicious will be #2, Granny Smith #3, Fuji #4, and Honeycrisp #5. There are more than 7000 varieties of apples, but I’ll stop the countdown with the top five.

Proof that America is now willing to pay more for crunchier, crisper, and sweeter apples is that the Honeycrisp is expected to rise from #5 to #1 in a decade. This according to those who know about things like horticulture and what make Gallup Polls gallop. According also to those who know that a Honeycrisp can cost three times what a Red Delicious does.

All of this was quite a shock to me. I knew that you’d better eat a Red Delicious when it’s at its ripest else it can go mushy and bland on you in a minute; still, I never expected its popularity to be overthrown by apples that are merely reddish.

The Red Delicious is RED. It’s what the inventors of the color “candy apple red” had in mind as they worked late in their laboratory. “Igor, stop eating the apples! I need them to compare to my paint.”

This switch to the merely reddish Gala as #1 produces problems. The one thing that all Christian denominations believe is that Eve gave Adam a Red Delicious. He could only be tempted by forbidden fruit with a great paint job. And now the most popular is paint-peeling Gala? The Gala, like the Fuji and Honeycrisp, is nothing but a paint-peeling apple revealing a greenish-yellow coat underneath.

And the Granny Smith? Let me just say that Roger Miller had it right when he sang, “God didn’t make little green apples and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime.” Every time I have a slice of pie made with green Granny Smiths, I say, “The devil made me do it.”

Walt Disney made the first feature-length cartoon having sound and color. What color was the apple? Bright red. When you’re going to poison someone, you do it with the most tempting apple imaginable. The Wicked Queen gave Snow White a robust Red Delicious, not a gimpy Gala.

And what did Johnny Appleseed plant? Orchard after orchard of Red Delicious. Any other variety wasn’t worthy of his passion. And so now we find out that it’s okay for America to bypass all of Johnny’s orchards and keep driving down the road to Granny Smith’s house for a Gala event? Mapquest can’t even give us a route.

The Apple of My Eye refers to that which we cherish. And for more than fifty years America has cherished the Red Delicious. Now we’re going to discard this grand old apple with no more shame than we discarded the Macarena, pet rocks, bell-bottoms, maxiskirts, and disco. We are a fickle bunch.

We say that something is American as baseball, hot dogs, motherhood and apple pie. What are we going to say now? It’s as “American as baseball, hot dogs, significant others, and apples from Mount Fuji”?

The Big Apple icon is a Red Delicious, not just reddish. I guess they’ll change the lyrics of the song to, “If I can make it there-ish I can make it anywhere-ish. It’s up to you New Yorkish, New Yorkish.”

Worms, of course, find anything less than a Red Delicious hardly worthy of their time, and school teachers are going to be terrible disappointed when little Johnny brings a paint-peeling Gala to school and places it on her desk.

I am so tired of everything changing, changing, changing.

It’s just one change after another anymore. Yet, if An apple a day keeps the doctor away, I might become a bit healthier. I really do like these Honeycrisps. Crisp, with a balanced sweetness and acidity, I imagine the taste is what Eve had in mind all along.


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