Apple Review: Macoun


The big fall apple harvest came in for Fresh Direct, and to celebrate I bought $45 ($45!) of apples. I got Macouns, Empires, Northern Spies, Cortlands, Jonagolds, Staymans, Macintoshes, and Ida Reds. 8 of each, so 64 apples in total. With the exception of the Macintosh, I've never tried any of them before. I'm going to use this opportunity to explore the world of less supermarket-friendly apples. With luck, I'll fall in love with an obscure seasonal available only in Maine 2 weeks of the year, and can use that to flaunt my hard-core apple fandom over the ignorant neophytes, with their Red Deliciouses and Granny Smiths.

I'm starting with the Macoun, which I've heard raves about. It's pretty interesting. The first thing I noticed, biting into it, was how amazingly light and crisp it is. Crisp like a Granny Smith, but without the density. In fact, as I was trying to come up with ways to describe this apple, almost every phrase that came to mind was of the form "____ like a Granny Smith, but without ____." It's sort of Granny Smith Light, which suits me fine because I've always found Granny Smiths (Grannies Smith?) a bit too harsh for my taste. It's smaller than a Granny Smith, and a mottled red. The interior is a bright white, like the models teeth on those teeth whitening ads. The flavor is tart, like a Granny Smith, but not as tart as a Granny Smith. Almost the same flavor, but much less strong. The texture is crisp and light, where a Granny Smith is crisp but hard and dense.

I like it. I'm not a huge Granny Smith fan, but I can get behind Macouns. They're much more subtle then the Granny Smith, and the texture works better. I'm tempted to try baking a pie with a few of these and see how it turns out. The flavor seems right, but the lighter texture might not work as well for baking. I would say that if you like Granny Smiths, you'll probably enjoy Macouns a lot (though, depending on how married you are to the strength of the Granny Smith, you may find them a bit weak for your tastes). If you're not a Granny Smith fan, the Macoun might be a good gateway apple, or even an alternative to the Granny Smith. For myself, I see no reason to buy Granny Smiths anymore if Macouns are available; every dimension on which they differ from Granny Smiths is, to my way of thinking, an improvement. The Macoun isn't, I would say, a contender for favorite apple, but it's earned a place as a regular in my apple rotation.


How do you pronounce Macoun? Is it ma-cown, or ma-coon, or something else entirely like perhaps ma-cone?

That's probably going to be my only contribution to this entry, since I'm entirely wedded to Granny Smiths. I stood in line for ten minutes today on my way back from buying DVDs just to get a single 14-cent Granny Smith to eat while walking home. It was deliciously sour and solid.

I have no idea how it's pronounced. Apparently it's named after its discoverer, who was Canadian, if that helps. I tend to pronounce it "Ma-Cown," but have no specific knowledge as to whether that's right or not.

I need to find more apple baking recipes. I have enough apples of each variety that I can eat some and still have enough to cook. And it doesn't seem fair to give bad reviews to apples that are bad for eating but good for cooking. At the same time, that'd be a hell of a lot of apple pies. Hmm, I could make apple tarts, apple fritters, apple dumplings... Other suggestions?

Well, I've got a recipe for an apple pastry with filo dough. If you're willing to deal with the filo-ness of it all, I'll post it. Otherwise, all I've got is my apple spice cake (which I think I've already posted as a variation on my standard crumb cake) and anything you can find by going to vegweb and typing "apple" into the search box.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on November 4, 2005 6:40 PM.

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