[NAFEX] Overlooked apple

Doug Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sun Nov 3 21:44:57 EST 2002


The spelling is "Macoun", named after a Canadian pomologist, pronounced
as if spelled "MacCowan"; ancestry McIntosh x Jersey Black, bred at the
Geneva N.Y. station early this century.

I surmise that a main objective was to combine McIntosh quality with the
solid red colour of Jersey Black, which was achieved.

I don't know whether Jersey Black has the super-crisp texture of Macoun
and it would be interesting to know, and to have a report of its
qualities from someone who is familiar with it. I think that Jersey
Black still survives although not in many places. The special quality of
its offspring suggest to me that we should make a point of preserving it.

The quality is as Ginda describes although I think it crisper than the
single supermarket Honeycrisp I ate for the first time a couple of days
ago, and the flavour resemblance is to that of the *best* McIntoshes.
It runs a little smaller than McIntosh. The colour is a brilliant dark
red all over, a conventional apple marketer's ultimate fantasy.

The texture of Macoun is also about ideal, almost unimaginably crisp
without being in the least hard, the ultimate in "breaking" texture.

Macoun is probably rare because the tree is, by report, a vertical grower
and strongly biennial, hard to manage. It is just a shade less hardy than
McIntosh judging by a New Brunswick study of topworking that I
encountered.

A defect of Macoun is that if left too long on the tree it tends to
become mealy, so it is not as forgiving of mis-timed picking as some
apples. This happened to me in the only year that I fruited it before
leaving the property and the tree.

The only orchard I ever encountered that grew Macoun was one on the
southern city limits of Ottawa, on the highway that runs north-south just
west of the Rideau River, about 1980. This orchard was run by an old
couple and they had had Macoun for many years.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada


On Sun, 3 Nov 2002, Ginda Fisher wrote:

> One excellent eating apple that gets overlooked a lot is the McCoun -
> it wasn't even listed in the otherwise excellent "Apples for the 20th
> Century".  I guess that it's only grown locally (in the north east).
>
> It is considered a "Macintosh type" apple, and it has a similar flavor
> to the Mac.  To my palette, it is not as rich in aromatics as a good
> mac, but it gets sweeter and keeps a little better than a mac.  It also
> has a terrific crunch.  It is nearly as crunchy as a honeycrisp, but
> it's softer (easier to chew) and juicier than a honeycrisp.  It also
> holds up better in pie and such than a mac, although it can be cooked
> down to a good sauce.  It looks similar to a macintosh, but is not as
> flat, and has slightly square shoulders.
>
> Does anyone know why this apple is so rarely mentioned?  Does it not
> grow well elsewhere?  It is not a rare apple - there's a huge market
> for it in the Boston area.




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