Apple of the Week – Red Delicious Apples

September 24, 2015 at 4:47 AM | Posted in Apple of the Week | 1 Comment
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A pile of 'Red Delicious'

A pile of ‘Red Delicious’

The Red Delicious is a clone of apple cultigen, now comprising more than 50 cultivars, recognized in Madison County, Iowa, United States, in 1880. As new cultivars with improved color and earlier harvestability have replaced the original cultivar in commercial orchards, the taste and texture of the harvested commodity have deteriorated, and many customers have begun to reject the ‘Red Delicious’ as being a markedly inferior tasting variety at the food market. Roger Yepsen notes some of its less desirable qualities, “The skin is thick and bitter and has to be chewed vigorously… this apple ranks close to the bottom when cooked… sold year round, so shop with skepticism. Delicious retains its cheerful good looks long after its flavor has departed.” According to the US Apple Association website it is one of the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States. They’re harvested in September and October and available throughout the year.

 

 

The ‘Red Delicious’ originated at an orchard in 1880 as “a round, blushed yellow fruit of surpassing sweetness”. Stark Nurseries held a competition in 1892 to find an apple to replace the ‘Ben Davis’ apple. The winner was a red and yellow striped apple sent by Jesse Hiatt, a farmer in Peru, Iowa, who called it “Hawkeye”. Stark Nurseries bought the rights from Hiatt, renamed the variety “Stark Delicious”, and began propagating it. Another apple tree, later named the ‘Golden Delicious’, was also marketed by Stark Nurseries after it was purchased from a farmer in Clay County, West Virginia, in 1914; the ‘Delicious’ became the ‘Red Delicious’ as a retronym.

 

 

In the 1980s, ‘Red Delicious’ represented three-quarters of the harvest in Washington state. A decade later, reliance on ‘Red Delicious’ had helped to push Washington state’s apple industry “to the edge” of collapse. In 2000, Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed a bill to bail out the apple industry, after apple growers had lost $760 million since 1997. By 2000, this cultivar made up less than one half of the Washington state output, and in 2003, the crop had shrunk to 37 percent of the state’s harvest, which totaled 103 million boxes. Although Red Delicious still remained the single largest variety produced in the state in 2005, others were growing in popularity, notably the ‘Fuji’ and ‘Gala’ varieties.

 

 

Red Delicious apples offer a small amount of vitamin A and vitamin C and have only a trace of sodium. They contain pectin, a beneficial fiber that has been shown to help promote healthy cholesterol levels and slow glucose metabolism in diabetics. Red Delicious apples are also higher in antioxidants than many other apple varieties, most of which is contained in their skin.

 

The Big Switch to Honeycrisp Apples!

December 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Posted in fruits | 2 Comments
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I’ve ate Gala Apples for as long as I can remember. I always have a quart freezer bag full of sliced Apples in the frig. It seemed good quality Gala’s were becoming more difficult to find so I’ve been trying other Apples. So after trying others I’ve made the switch to Honeycrisp Apples!I love the texture and sweetness of them. I’ve got a bag of them sliced up in the frig as I write this. I left a little history on both Apples below.
Honeycrisp Apples

Honeycrisp (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’) is an apple cultivar developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station’s

Honeycrisp Apple

Honeycrisp Apple

Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Designated in 1960 as the MN 1711, and released in 1991, the Honeycrisp, once slated to be discarded, has rapidly become a prized commercial commodity, as its sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it an ideal apple for eating raw. The Honeycrisp also retains its pigment well and boasts a relatively long shelf life when stored in cool, dry conditions.
U.S. Plant Patent 7197 and Report 225-1992 (AD-MR-5877-B) from the Horticultural Research Center indicate that the Honeycrisp is a hybrid of the apple cultivars Macoun and Honeygold. However, genetic fingerprinting conducted by a group of researchers in 2004, which included those who were later attributed on the patent, determined that neither of these cultivars is a parent of the Honeycrisp, but that the Keepsake (another apple developed by the same University of Minnesota crossbreeding program) is one of the parents. The other parent has not been identified, but it might be a numbered selection that could have been discarded since. According to the US Patent office, the Patent was filed November 7, 1988. As a result, the patent has now expired.
For the sake of commercial production, Honeycrisp apple trees are not self-fruitful, as trees grown from the seeds of Honeycrisp apples will be hybrids of Honeycrisp and the pollinator.
In 2006, Andersen Elementary School in Bayport petitioned for the Minnesota state legislature to make the Honeycrisp apple the state fruit; the bill was passed in May 2006.
As a result of the Honeycrisp apple’s growing popularity, the government of Nova Scotia has encouraged its local orchards to increase their supplies through the Honeycrisp Orchard Renewal Program. From 2005 until 2010, apple producers in Nova Scotia could replace older apple trees with Honeycrisp trees at a subsidized rate. Many orchards in the Annapolis Valley on the Bay of Fundy have mature trees and plentiful supplies of Honeycrisps throughout the harvest season. Apple growers in New Zealand’s South Island have begun growing Honeycrisp to supply consumers during the US off-season.[5] The first batch of New Zealand-grown Honeycrisp cultivars being introduced to the North American market have been branded using the “HoneyCrunch” registered trademark.
Gala Apples

Gala is a clonally propagated apple with a mild and sweet flavor. Gala apples ranked at number 2 in 2006 on the US Apple Association’s

Gala Apple

Gala Apple

list of most popular apples, after Red Delicious and before Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji (in order).

Gala apples are small and are usually red with a portion being greenish or yellow-green, vertically striped. Gala apples are fairly resistant to bruising and are sweet, grainy, with a mild flavor and a thinner skin than most apples. Quality indices include firmness, crispness, and sweetness.

The first Gala apple tree was one of many seedlings resulting from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd’s Orange Red planted in New Zealand in the 1930s by orchardist J.H. Kidd. Donald W. McKenzie, an employee of Stark Bros Nursery, obtained a US plant patent for the cultivar on October 15, 1974. The variety is also an increasingly popular option for UK top fruit farmers. It is a relatively new introduction to the UK, first planted in commercial volumes during the 1980s. The variety now represents about 20% of the total volume of the commercial production of eating apples grown in the UK, often replacing Cox’s Orange Pippin.

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