I grew up in the Wenatchee valley and spent plenty of time in the orchards thinning apples, picking pear blight, picking cherries, changing irrigation Sprinklers, and so forth. Later when I owned an export freight forwarding firm, I spent a lot of time handling the logistics of getting to ship side, shiploads of bulk apples to Saudi Arabia and also a multitude of refrigerated containers to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Whilst involved in the transportation of apples, I also did some joint experiments with the Washington Tree Fruit experiment Station, in controlled atmosphere shipping without refrigeration. These experiments accelerated my knowledge of apples, the respiration rate and how it affects decay and ripening, etc. to the point of boring most people. For me it was exciting. I learned from the chinese what type of apples they preferred and why they liked them, why the apples from Lake Chelan were the best in the world and why they commanded a higher price than other apples, and what to look out for from certain fruit packers. Like any business, it had it's share of just wonderful people and a few colorful rogues, or not so colorful if you were on the receiving end of their shenanigans.
I am starting off this gift box business with the aim first of all, of just breaking even on the extra value added. In other words, the cost of the apples, the cost to pre-assemble the kindlingboxes, the labor in packaging, the extra foam - all of that is just being passed on at cost, with no mark-up. i will just make my little profit on the sale of more kindllngboxes. But what i ultimately aim to do with this business, is rejuvinate the old fruit box era of artwork that was printed and pasted on all the wooden apple boxes, orange boxes, cherries, nuts, etc. Everyone had a beautiful label they put on their boxes and this label represented their brand. They were very proud of their brands, and wise buyers, who saw these brands and recognized their inherent quality, would repeatedly buy these types of branded fruit over others - and they would pay more for them if required.
It used to be an industry and skill all its own to make wooden boxes, and nail them quickly together. Then someone would add their label to the box, and show the grade and size of fruit. If it was extra fancy 88's or 80's (meaning they were big apples as only 80 or 88 would fit into a 40# box, then oftentimes they would top wrap the apples, meaning they would wrap each individual apple in a paper, usually red, or red and green.
Our family has never owned an apple orchard, but we have been surrounded by it our whole lives. Washington apples this year were the largest agricultural item by dollars, to the tune of over 2 billion. My dad wrote a book on the apple Industry called "Apples Galore".
I strongly believe in the healthy aspects of apples. When I first went off to college in Seattle at Seattle U, one day a few of my buddies came over to visit me in my dorm room. My classmates could not believe they were all so tall and healthy looking. I still eat at least one apple a day, usually before dinner, while watching Bill Oreily on the factor with a thick slice of Irish cheddar cheese. My wife hates the show, and is not too fond of the sound of me crunching on an apple, so she stays out of the room while this is going on, usually out in the kitchen cooking my dinner, which is what she should be doing at that time of the night anyway, now that I think of it.
My favorite variety, since you asked, is still the red delicious.