The McIntosh is the national apple of Canada and the most popular apple tree in Eastern Canada and New England. The apple is a small to medium-sized round fruit with a short stem, and is considered an all-purpose apple, suitable both for cooking and eating raw. McIntosh apples are a vivid dark red, or crimson color brushed with bright green and speckled with white spots. Early season apples will have more green and later season can be almost solid red. The flavor also varies depending on harvesting. The McIntosh has a strong sweet-tart taste with nuances of spice–sometimes described as wine like. The flavor will mellow slightly in storage. The later season apples have a slightly sweeter taste than those picked earlier in the season. The apple has a crunchy bite with crisp flesh that is exceptionally juicy and bright white in color.
John McIntosh is said to have discovered the original McIntosh sapling on his Dundela farm in Upper Canada in 1811. By grafting the tree, he was able to start selling the fruit in 1835. By 1960, the McIntosh made up 40% of the Canadian apple market, and at least thirty varieties of McIntosh hybrids were known by 1970. According to the US Apple Association website, it is one of the fifteen most popular apples in the United States. The original tree discovered by John McIntosh bore fruit for more than ninety years and died in 1910.