Inventory, lb : 0
Jonamac apples are a small to medium-sized varietal, averaging 6 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to oblate shape with flat, sloping shoulders and a broad base. The variety is slightly flatter than its parent McIntosh and typically features short, green-brown, woody stems. The apple’s skin is smooth, thin, and taut, bruising easily when jostled. The skin also has a yellow-green base hue, almost entirely covered in a bright to dark red blush with striping. Jonamac apples are notably enveloped in a heavy waxy bloom when picked from the tree. Commercial growers often remove this bloom to make the apples glossier before sending the fruits to market. The surface is also covered in pale yellow to ivory lenticels. Underneath the skin, the white to cream-colored flesh is semi-firm, crisp, airy, and aqueous, becoming softer as it ripens. The flesh also encases a small central core filled with tiny, black-brown seeds. When ripe, Jonamac apples release a subtle fragrance and have a complex sweet-tart flavoring. The apples are initially sharp and then develop a balanced, sweet, fruity, and tangy taste with honeyed nuances of strawberries and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Jonamac apples are available in the early fall through early winter.
Jonamac apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are an American variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The early-season apple was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in the late 20th century and was created to be an improved variety of McIntosh apples. Jonamac apples ripen approximately one week before McIntosh apples and are often advertised as “Before Macs,” a marketing slogan highlighting the apple’s early-season arrival. Jonamac apples are also said to have a more complex flavor and more vibrant coloring than McIntosh, one of its parent varieties. The variety grows on trees reaching 4 to 8 meters in height and is appreciated by commercial and home gardeners for its hardiness and slight resistance to cedar apple rust. Jonamac apples are also known for their cold tolerance, able to grow in regions that encounter temperatures as low as -46 degrees Celsius. When the variety was first bred, Jonamac apples were known as NY 44428-5 apples, but after they were selected for commercial release, they were rebranded as Jonamac for increased consumer appeal. In the modern day, Jonamac apples are a popular commercial variety in colder regions such as the northeastern United States and the Midwest. Outside of these regions, the apples are grown in limited quantities as a specialty, fresh-eating cultivar.
Jonamac apples are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, vitamin C to boost the immune system, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The variety also provides vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, vitamin E to protect the cells against free radical damage, copper to generate connective tissues, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin to transport oxygen through the bloodstream, and other nutrients, including phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and boron. The apple’s red coloring indicates the presence of anthocyanins, colored pigments in the skin with antioxidant-like properties to protect the cells against the damage caused by free radicals.
Jonamac apples have a complex, sweet-tart taste suited for fresh preparations. The variety is traditionally consumed straight out of hand and is marketed as a dessert or fresh-eating apple. Jonamac apples can be eaten as a snack or sliced as a healthy dessert, and the sweet nature of the flesh complements cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, or parmesan on charcuterie boards. Try slicing and dipping Jonamac apples into nut butter or caramel or layering slices onto toast. The apples can also be topped over crostini, heated into grilled cheeses and paninis, or chopped fresh into salads and grain bowls. It is important to note that Jonamac apples will oxidize about ten minutes after slicing. The apples may need to be sprinkled with lemon juice in fresh dishes to prevent browning. Beyond raw dishes, Jonamac apples fall apart when cooked and are not considered baking apples. Some chefs combine the variety with more tart and firm cooking apples and use the broken-down flesh as a sweet filler. Jonamac apples can be simmered into jams, jellies, and other preserves or cooked into applesauce. Jonamac apples pair well with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, herbs including mint, basil, parsley, and rosemary, and nuts such as pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Whole, unwashed Jonamac apples will keep for 6 to 8 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place such as a cellar or refrigerator.
The name Jonamac was selected from a contest held to brand the new apple variety in January 1972. The contest was opened to members of the Rochester and Kingston branches of the New York State Horticultural Society, and editors of a Boston newspaper and the Buffalo Evening News highlighted the contest in their columns, widening the search to the masses. The contest received 515 submissions, and seven suggestions were the same, recommending the apple to be named Jonamac. Of the seven submissions suggesting Jonamac, one participant was an apple advertising agency, and four participants were commercial apple growers. This combination of industry professionals spurred decision-makers to change NY 44428-5 to Jonamac, and the name was officially given on September 21, 1972, when the variety was released commercially.
Jonamac apples are native to the United States and were developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, in the mid-20th century. The variety was bred by Roger D. Way in 1944 from a cross between McIntosh and Johnathan apples. In September 1955, one seedling was selected from 2,474 seedlings and was planted for potential propagation. Several test trees of the selected seedling were planted in five commercial orchards in Vermont, Hudson Valley, and western New York in 1959. The trees began fruiting in 1961 and were evaluated and tested annually until 1971. After its trial period, all the growers who planted the experimental seedlings were impressed with its performance, and two of the growers even continued to propagate it after the trials. After 17 years of trialing and testing, the new variety, initially known as NY 44428-5, was renamed Jonamac and released to commercial growers in 1972. Today, Jonamac apples are cultivated through commercial growers and home gardeners. The variety is popular in northern regions of the United States, specifically New York, but is relatively unknown nationwide. Jonamac apples do not ship well and are typically sold in their growing areas through farmer’s markets, select grocers, and some distributors.
Recipes that include Jonamac Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Savich Trek||Jonamac Applesauce|