Who Is the “Granny Smith” Of Granny Smith Apples?


Many parts of the U.S. are enjoying the peak of apple season right now. And lucky for logophiles, the names of some of the most popular varieties are almost as interesting as the fruit is tasty.

There are more than 7, 500 cultivars of apples. Here are the stories behind five of the most popular:

• It’s understandable if you guess that the Golden Delicious was named for the fruit’s gorgeous hue. In fact, this cultivar was likely a hybrid of two types that share the name “golden,” the Grimes Golden and the Golden Reinette. The original tree was found on a family farm in West Virginia. The Golden Delicious went on the market in 1914 as a companion to the Red Delicious.

• The Red Rome, or Rome Beauty, has nothing to do with the seat of the ancient empire. This cooking apple actually originated near Rome Township, Ohio, in the early 1800s.

• The Fuji apple is also not named after the place you might expect. Mistakenly, many people think that it was named after Mount Fuji. But this apple clone was developed by growers at a research station in Fujisake, Aomori, Japan in the late 1930s.

• The tart Granny Smith green apple is in fact named after it’s propagator, Maria Ann Smith. The apple originated in Australia in 1868.

A fresh apple in the autumn always tastes better with a mug of coffee or a cup of tea. Learn the international mystery of the origin of coffee’s name, here, or check out what distinguishes green and black tea, here. Also, if you would like us to bite into the words behind any other fall foods, let us know. The suggestions that whet our linguistic appetite will get their own posts.

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