Granny Smith ... the accidental apple
Granny Smith apples are one of the most popular varieties of apples in Australia. This variety was a chance invention that takes its name from Maria Ann “Granny” Smith an English migrant who arrive in Australia in 1830.
When her husband died, Granny Smith took over the family farm in Ryde, New South Wales. One day Granny Smith dumped a crate of rotten French Crab Apples from Tasmania into her garden. Later she found that an apple sapling had grown. That sapling grew into a tree that produced tart green apples. It is believed that the seeds of the French Crab apples crossed with the Cleopatra variety to produce the new, unique fruit.
The high acid content of Granny Smith apples stops the fruit turning brown when cut as quickly as other varieties. It is an excellent cooking apple due to its tangy and tart flavour and because its firm flesh maintains its shape when it is cooked.
Granny Smith apples are a vibrant green colour when ripe, warming to a blush as it continues to ripen. The apples’ natural tartness decreases as the fruit ripens. Cooking the apple will caramelise the sugars in the apple into a richer flavour. Granny Smith apples are high in antioxidants and one apple will give 20% of daily vitamin C requirements.
Today, Granny Smith is one of the world's most popular apple varieties, grown globally from Tasmania to Europe, the USA and South America.