Interesting Facts About Apples

Did you know that apples originated from the mountains of Kazakhstan? For over 2,000 years, they have been cultivated worldwide and loved by people in a variety of forms. So, what makes apples so special?

Let’s explore some juicy facts about apples.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The age-old English proverb, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” rings true. Apples have numerous health benefits due to the acids present in them. These acids help fight against gout and indigestion, aid in faster digestion, and cure constipation. No wonder the saying goes, “to eat an apple going to bed will make the doctor beg his bread!”

The Forbidden Fruit Wasn’t an Apple

Contrary to popular belief, the fruit that Eve picked from the Tree of Knowledge wasn’t an apple. The original story in the Book of Genesis doesn’t specify which fruit it was. Theories range from figs to olives, grapes to bananas. It wasn’t until the 12th century that apples were referred to as the forbidden fruit.

Apples Have Mythical Significance

Apples have been around for so long that they have become a part of many European myths and legends. In the epic Greek poem the Iliad, a golden apple plays a key role in the downfall of Troy. In Norse mythology, the goddess of youth, Idun, gave golden apples to the gods to keep them youthful. There is also a myth where Loki kidnaps Idun, and the gods begin to age quickly.

Planting the Seeds of an Apple Leads to a New Variety

Apples have a genetic characteristic called heterozygosity, which means that any new tree grown from an apple seed will grow into a new variety. This has resulted in thousands of known apple varieties today. However, it also makes apple cultivation more challenging, and grafting is necessary instead of planting new apple trees by seed.

Grafting is a technique that involves combining a part of a desired plant with the roots of a tougher and more durable variant that has been grown from seed. If successful, the new seedling will grow the desired apples. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples that fall into three categories: cider, cooking, and dessert. Apples originated in Kazakhstan and are known to have migrated to England before the technique of fermenting and distilling was perfected. Over 66 million tons of apples are produced annually, with China being the largest producer. Johnny Appleseed, a US folk hero, spread apple seeds across the USA, but they were only good for creating booze.

The Versatility of Fruits

Fruits are incredibly versatile. They can be baked, juiced, fermented, or enjoyed straight off the tree. One of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world, they are truly one of the greatest and will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

FAQ

1. What is the history of apples?

Apples are one of the oldest fruits known to man, with evidence of their cultivation dating back to ancient times. They were first domesticated in Central Asia and then spread to the Mediterranean region and Europe. Apples were also brought to America by European settlers and soon became a staple crop. Today, there are over 7,500 different varieties of apples grown around the world!

2. What are the health benefits of apples?

Apples are packed with nutrients and are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Eating apples can help improve heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, and aid in weight loss. They also contain natural compounds that can help protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. What is the nutritional value of an apple?

An average-sized apple contains around 95 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fiber. They are also low in fat and sodium and contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.

4. What is the best way to store apples?

Apples should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks or in a cool cellar or pantry for up to 2 months. It’s best to store them away from other fruits and vegetables, as they can release ethylene gas, which can cause other produce to spoil faster.

5. How can you tell if an apple is ripe?

Ripe apples should be firm to the touch and free of bruises or blemishes. They should also have a fresh, sweet smell. If an apple feels soft or mushy, or has a sour or musty smell, it may be overripe or spoiled.

6. What are some popular ways to enjoy apples?

Apples are a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some popular ways to eat apples include raw as a snack, sliced into salads, baked into pies or crisps, and juiced or blended into smoothies. They can also be used in savory dishes like soups or roasted with vegetables.

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