Granny Smith Apples
The Granny Ramsey Smith green apple is a tip-bearing apple cultivar. It originated in Australia in 1868 from a chance seedling propagated by Maria Ann Smith (née Sherwood, b. 1799, d. 9 March 1870), from whom comes the name.
It is thought to be a hybrid of Malus sylvestris, the European Wild Apple, with the domestic apple M. domestica as the polleniser. Widely propagated in New Zealand, it was introduced to the United Kingdom c. 1935 and the United States in 1972 by Grady Auvil.
To this day, there is an annual Granny Smith Festival in Eastwood, New South Wales, at the end of October. The celebration marks not only the cultivar’s local origins, but also that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the orchards of Eastwood supplied apples to the Sydney region. Sydney, with its humid subtropical climate, is not ideally suited for growing apples, but Granny Smith did notably well while other cultivars struggled. With the advent of easier transport, apples are no longer grown commercially in the Sydney region.
Granny Smith apples are light green in colour. They are crisp, juicy, tart apples which are excellent for eating raw and cooking. Raw Granny Smith’s register at 6.2 on the Lytle Sweetness Scale while a cooked Granny Smith commands an 11.6 rating. This accounts for the fact that Granny Smith apples are ideally suited for pie baking. They are favoured for salads because the slices do not brown as quickly as other varieties. They also tend to have a harder texture than other green apples.
This cultivar needs fewer winter chill hours and a longer growing season to mature the fruit, so it is favoured for the milder areas of the apple growing regions.
Granny Smith apples are widely recognised throughout the world and The Beatles’ Apple Records adopted a Granny Smith apple as its symbol.