Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple Time

No, not just orchard time or apple time - it's MacIntosh time, one of my favorite times in the whole turning year. Keep the chocolate - most of it anyway - and give me a MacIntosh apple or three. John Chapman, or Johnny Appleseed as he was known during his lifetime, was one of my early heroes, and I remember the words of his song, as they were taught to me when I was a toddler. Does anyone remember that song? Part of it goes....

The Lord is good to me,
and how I thank Thee, Lord
for giving me the things I need:
the sun, the rain and the appleseed;
the Lord is good to me.

Every single glorious spicy MacIntosh apple in existence is the child of a single apple tree discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm at Dundela in Dundas County, up the St. Lawrence River and only an hour or two from the little blue house in the village.

There is no way to be certain, but apple pundits posit that the heirloom Snow apple is a probable parent of the MacIntosh, and the Fameuse is also a likely contender. The Mac has illustrious offspring of its own: the Macoun, Spartan, Cortland, Empire and Jonamac. Both the Paula Red and the Jersey Mac are also thought to be related, and both resemble the MacIntosh.

A good ripe MacIntosh needs a frost or two to develop real bite and spice and fragrance and juiciness, and although the MacIntosh's children possess many of its sterling qualities, not a one can measure up to the perfection of biting into a MacIntosh in its prime on a fine sunny autumn day.

3 comments:

Paul Maurice Martin said...

I agree - grew up in New Hampshire.

Store bought apples are like apple skins packed with sawdust...

The Thorn Tree said...

"Every single glorious spicy MacIntosh apple in existence is the child of a single apple tree discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm at Dundela in Dundas County, up the St. Lawrence River and only an hour or two from the little blue house in the village." - My childhood friend (we are still friends) used to live on that farm 25 years ago or so, (I lived on a 100 acre farm outside of Iroquois, in a big stone "Cameron" house) and they were very proud of its history! I remember there was a plaque erected on the farm to celebrate its MacIntoshy heritage.

Sky said...

we just harvested some apples from our tree and are enjoying every single one. i had 3 yesterday!