The Washington Apple Commission touted the virtues of the red delicious in this ad from the 1968-72 edition of The Packer’s Ideas in Merchandising. A half-century later, the variety is out of vogue, having lost its top spot to the gala.

As high-flavor varieties proliferate and gain prominence, the beautiful but bland red delicious has receded rather quickly. Hastening the process is the advent of Cosmic Crisp, a variety with similar color that harvests in the same window, a critical piece of the puzzle for growers looking to replace the long-tenured red.

The Packer's editor Tom Karst, however, says we just might miss the old stalwart once it’s gone.


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