Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marshall McIntosh

Large and classically shaped, slightly ribbed, Marshall Mac wears a saturated red blush over a bright spring green.

Many light lenticels, some large, decorate the peel. They are especially visible in the blush.

White fine-grained flesh, tinted green, is a little spongy. The apple is tart tempered by sweetness, with classic McIntosh flavors of berries and wine (for the vinous definition of wine).

Flesh color and texture suggest this apple was picked a little early.

The real Macs will be here soon, but this is an excellent stand-in, or will be assuming the texture improves with a later pick date.

Despite some sources describing Marshall as the offspring of McIntosh and an unknown parent, it appears to be a mutation—a sport. It is redder and ripens slightly earlier than the non-mutant strain.

I've been running into this a lot this summer, sports sold as two-parent cultivars.

Popular varieties like Mcintosh have spawned hundreds of nearly identical sports. I am really not interested in writing about all of them.

Marshall however is distinct from, if not better than, regular McIntosh. I'm glad to give it its own review.

The Marshall Mac season largely overlaps that of its parent. There is theoretically a window of less than a week within which Marshall Mac is ready to pick but McIntosh is not.

Marshall McIntosh originated at Marshall Farm (now Hollis Hills Farm) in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

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