One of the most popular fruits, apples are grown around the world and have been part of many mythologies and cultures throughout history!
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
The apple is an edible fruit that’s grown on an apple tree. These trees can be found around the world, but it’s thought that the trees we’re familiar with today started with an ancestor native to Central Asia. This tree, Malus sieversii, was a wild tree that is still found in some regions of Central Asia today.
Of course, apples have been a staple throughout the world, often grown in bulk in places like Europe and Asia.
The size of an apple tree greatly depends on which apple cultivars are used. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars, which means there can be quite some differentiation in terms of taste and use!
In fact, specific cultivars are used for specific things – like cider production, cooking and baking, or even eating raw.
Typically, though, the apple tree is deciduous and stands upwards of 6-15 feet tall. In the springtime, blossoms are produced with budding leaves. These are usually between 3-4 centimeters, the center of which is referred to as the “king bloom”. Once this opens, apples can be developed.
If you’re familiar with the apple-picking season, you already know that late summer or fall is the time when most apples ripen to their best! Typically, commercial apple growers look to have apples that are between 2 3/4 and 3 1/4 inches, though some countries prefer larger or smaller apples.
A Vast Variety Of Apples
Because of the fact that apples can be found in so many different places, there’s a huge variety of this fruit! Some types that you might come across include:
- Adams Pearmain
- Autumn Glory
- Bottle Greening
- Dorsett Golden
- Golden Delicious
- Golden Orange
- Golden Noble
- Northern Spy
Of course, these are just a few of the most popular varieties of apple. Your local grocery store will likely have somewhere between three and five types of apple that you can choose from!
A History Of The Wild Apple
The ancestor of the domesticated apple was Malus sieversii, the wild apple tree found in Central Asia. However, it’s thought that over time, the growth of the species progressed with the cultivation of the tree itself.
Cross-pollination with Malus sylvestnis, which you might know as the crabapple tree, has resulted in the apples that we know and love today!
A Sweet And Refreshing Crunch
Depending on the kind of apple you bite into, there are a variety of flavors that you could find. For example, Granny Smith is a variety of apple that’s usually found with green skin. These are known for being more sour or sharp-tasting and are typically used for such things as caramel apples.
Golden Delicious, another variety of apple, is usually far sweeter. Much of the flavor and coloration of an apple depends on the type it is, as well as the coloration of the apple as a whole.
However, no matter what type of apple you’re enjoying, there are several ways to eat the fruit. They make a great healthy snack when served raw, whether cut up into slices or just eaten whole.
The skin of the apple is edible, though it does contain pectin which can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
In addition to being eaten raw, apples are used in tons of different baked goods, drinks, and other recipes.
Warm Apple Crisp
One of the most popular apple-based recipes is apple crisp. A staple of autumn and wintertime, this dish brings out the best in apples and can be served with ice cream or caramel drizzled on top.
If this sounds totally mouthwatering to you, check out this easy recipe! To make your own apple crisp, you’ll need:
- 10 peeled, cored, and sliced apples
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cup of quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of melted butter
Once you’re done and you’re ready to eat your apple crisp, sit back and enjoy your apple dessert!
An Ever-Popular Fruit
Because of its prevalence in society, the apple has made its way into several popular culture and historical references. It had quite the symbolism in Norse mythology and Germanic paganism, as the goddess Iðunn is depicted handing eternal youth apples to the gods.
In Greek mythology, apples have a part in many religious traditions, often shown as a forbidden fruit. And of course, the idea of the forbidden fruit is used in Christianity, too; the apple is symbolic of the fall of man.
The Medical Benefits Of Apples
In addition to being a sweet treat, apples are pretty rich in antioxidants that help the human body function. These are thought to help reduce the risk of developing such things as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The Sweet And Easy Snack
Apples are a great fruit for any time – whether you’re on the go and need a quick bite, or you want to make a dessert to remember!