On This Day …

Wednesday 9th March, 1870

Photo by Brandon Heyer

Photo by Brandon Heyer

It is the anniversary of the death of Maria Ann Smith (Nee Sherwood), made famous by her strain of fabulous cooking apples — the Granny Smith.

Maria was the daughter of a farm worker and married a farm worker. She and her husband were recruited to Australia by government agents looking for people with agricultural skills.

So, the couple settled in Ryde, near Sydney, which at the time was a big fruit-growing area. The Granny Smith originated when Maria discovered a chance seedling in 1868, thought to be a hybrid of the European Crab Apple and the common domestic apple, and propagated it.

While the new strain of apples were not commercially grown in her lifetime, the Granny Smith was awarded the award for ‘best cooking apple’ at the 1891 Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show. By 1895 the Granny Smith began a life as an export trade commodity and is now loved the world over.

Hmm, all this talk about Granny Smiths makes me want to cook up a big apple pie … or an apple crumble … with custard! What is your favourite dish or dessert to use Granny Smith apples in?

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Published in: on 8th March, 2013 at 10:41 am  Comments (4)  
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