Granny Smith apples were discovered in Australia in the 1860’s, as a chance seedling in the compost pile on the orchard of Maria Ann Smith. Granny Smith apples were first introduced commercially in the United Kingdom in the 1930’s and later to the United States in the 1970’s. They were one of the first varieties of apple widely available in supermarkets as their thick skin and excellent storing qualities made them suitable for shipping. Today Granny Smith apples grow in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, South America and the United States. They tend to ripen best in warmer climates where they get a significant amount of sunshine.
Granny Smith apples have a bright green skin that is often speckled with faint white lenticels (spots). Medium to large in size and round in shape, they are a firm and juicy apple with thick skin. Their flesh is bright white and crisp in texture with a tart, acidic, yet subtly sweet flavor. Granny Smith apples grown in colder climates will often take on a yellow to pink blush.
Granny Smith apples are high in cell repairing antioxidants. They are also a good source of soluble fiber, which has been proven to help lower cholesterol, control weight, and regulates blood sugar. Granny Smith apples contain vitamins A and C, as well as a trace amount of iron, most of which is located in their skin.
Granny Smith apples are often used in baking because of their high acidity and ability to hold their shape when cooked. Try baked into sweet or savory pies, tarts, or meat pastries; add to savory bread stuffing, risotto or potato pancakes. Their sweet-tart flavor is a great addition to soups, smoothies, and sauces. Because they are slow to brown when cut, they are perfect diced and added to fresh preparations such as salads and salsas or sliced and paired with cheese.