Canadian legend on the decline

Legendary McIntosh apple is set to disappear gradually

Sometimes, the McIntosh apple is referred to as Canada's national apple, but it is hardly ever planted in Quebec orchards to the point where it will likely gradually disappear from supermarkets. The McIntosh, however, remains to be a legend.

Still, Monique Audette, an agronomist and grower who owns a 13-hectare orchard in Dunham, told “Consumers seem to want "sweeter, less acidic and crunchier apples.”

Discovered in 1811 by Ontario farmer John McIntosh, the apple has been sold commercially since the 1880s. But the variety isn't very popular with younger generations; it doesn't pay much for apple growers when compared to other varieties. Audette predicts its market share will be very low within 10 to 20 years.

Consumers attached to the Mac will still be able to pick it up at some fruit stands, Audette said, and it's even likely that orchards will begin to specialize in the older varieties.

While confirming that the McIntosh is "on the decline," Quebec Apple Producers president Stéphanie Levasseur says she doesn't believe that it will disappear "that quickly" because "orchards aren't changed overnight."

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