A PUTSCH IN THE APPLE PATCH?
HAS AMERICA'S MR PEANUT TAKEN A BITE OF CANADA'S BIG APPLE?
(popular Facebook posting by Stephen Weir - June 2013)
|Peanut Allegeries? No worries. Mr. Peanut is dead and under glass - cell photo by M. Nenadovich|
On our way to Prescott, Ontario on the mighty 401 highway, we stopped off at the Big Apple, near Colborne. The Big Apple is the world's tallest observation tower (overlooking a freeway) that is shaped like a bright red MacIntosh apple. The attraction also makes and sells apple pies, has a petting zoo and a miniature golf game. At one time the concrete apple housed the Peter Puck Collection! (a cheesey hockey museum).
The 35ft tall structure is a monument to the local apple industry and was built by Colborne booster George Boycott. But has there been a coup in Eastern Ontario's backyard orchard?
My Northern Spie eye went into full alert mode when we peeled off the highway and entered the apple pie bakery beside the Big Apple. First thing we saw inside the door was a statue of Mr Peanut under glass. Reminded me of Chairman Mao's embalmed remains in the Forbidden City. Beside Mr. Peanut was an iron Planter's Peanut and Chocolate blender made in the 19th century.
The check-out person told us they haven't had time to put a sign up in Mr Peanut's glass coffin. "But," she said, "I can tell you he was made in 1926 and is the only such statue of Mr Peanut in Canada!"
"Why a peanut mausoleum in an apple cathedral?" They weren't saying. Out back at the loading dock, a compact car, covered in Mr Peanut logos was surreptitiously parked behind a privacy wall.
Has the US based Kraft food company (the owner's of the Mr Peanut trademark) taken a bite of Canada's Forbidden Fruit? Has this Canadian roadside icon started to crumble?
Has the founder of the Big Apple, George Boycott, sold his business and true to his name is now boycotting the apple yard that he built back in the 80s? I sense a business that is now rotten to the core!
This calls for an undercover investigation! Mr Peanut, you butter be on guard -- you are now in the apple of my (private) eye.
BTW - we bought the 3,800,000th pie ( or there abouts) sold at the Big Apple (they keep a running count on their huge highway sign).
August 14th. Back on the highway. Back at the Big Apple! Bought 4,000,255 pie ( or there abouts) and checked out the Planter's take-over of this Highway 401 icon.
|Peanut sized car has Mr. Peanut face on door|
The restaurant is still selling apple pies, but, many of their non-apple pie lines are no longer being made. Goodbye Peach, Rhubbarb and Pecan pies! There is now a rack of Planter's Peanut products beside the apple pies.
|card beside Mr Peanut under glass|
Mr Peanut under glass has been moved near the cash registers and there is a card explaining why the peanut man is in a glass coffin!
The Peanut mini-car has been moved out from behind the cafe and is proudly parked on the front lawn, in front of a grove of (apple?) trees.
UPDATE - A reader has posted a correction to the information that is posted in the Big Apple about Mr. Peanut. On November 22, 2015 Wilf Runge wrote to say: "the Mr. Peanut is older than the 40's. is made of paper mache, not fibreglass and is not the only one in Canada as I own one two."
Also - today we bought a pie at the Big Apple. Supposedly the 5 millionth, but somehow, like Mr Runge, I am doubtful of the Big Apple's info/data.