Philosophizing About Food With Francine: Buttery Spiced Macintosh Applesauce


by Francine Black

We know that there is evidence of the earliest apples growing in Central Asia several thousand years ago. As humans traveled from one place to another, they naturally carried their lunches along with them. I can envision an ancient trader to Europe tossing his apple core by the wayside, never thinking he was creating a future orchard. We love the legend of Johnny Appleseed as he continued that tradition.

Apple trees are known as “extreme heterozygous,” meaning their seeds will produce an unpredictable variety of apple trees not necessarily representing their parent tree. And so it was in the 1800’s that a farmer named John Macintosh in Ontario, Canada discovered a rogue apple tree growing in an overgrown section of his orchard with a marvelous new variety of fruit. His family loved the apples, finding them excellent for eating fresh as well as for cooking and baking.

In order to reproduce new trees of the same variety, now known as the Macintosh apple, he grafted branches of the parent tree onto wild rootstock. The original tree died in 1906 and the last tree grafted from it died in 2011.

We’re grateful to farmer Macintosh for his foresight and skill, as this apple figures importantly in our fall culinary repertoire!

Enjoy the weekend, dear friends!

High in the mountains above Bally, where the dense groves of treetops seem to touch the sky, is Francine Black, Boyertown’s own version of chef Julia Child. Her daily activities reflect the things she most values: family and friends, music, and lovingly prepared food.

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