Sweet apple history
We owe a debt of gratitude to the ancient Roman horticulturists. Without their efforts, the apple would still be a virtually inedible wild fruit. During the 7th century BC, apples were so rare and expensive that newlyweds were required to share one apple on their wedding night.
Sweet apple varieties
The quest continues. In case you haven’t noticed, there are apple varieties that you likely never heard of just a few years ago. Like other produce, the varieties of apples on your grocer’s shelf are selected for their marketability and profitability. This means that they are the most disease resistant, attractive, and have the best storage and shelf life of the varieties available. For instance, we never see the Early Transparent apples anymore because they are very fragile and they do not keep well.
The apple season is endless as the world has two apple growing seasons, one from the northern hemisphere and one from the southern hemisphere with New Zealand being a big source for the spring market in the United States. The genetic structure of the apple tree makes it necessary to have at least two months at or near freezing during their dormant cycle or they will not bear fruit. This requires that they grow only in the north and south temperate zones.
Packing and storage of apples has become a science with the application of wax to preserve freshness and to improve the appearance of the fruit. The industry has the capacity to store over 100 million crates of apples in humidity and temperature controlled atmosphere. The presence of oxygen accelerates the ripening and aging of apples in storage, so a certain carbon dioxide level is maintained in order to extend the storage life of the fruit. This advanced technology has taken the apple out of the seasonal category, and has made them available all year round.
Health Benefits of Sweet Apples
For eating out of hand, apples are second only to bananas in popularity. We know; “an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, as apples are very nutritious.
They are easy to digest and their acids help to reduce fermentation in the digestive tract. They are high in fiber, and are an excellent food for lowering blood cholesterol, and high blood sugar. There are two categories of apples, the ‘eating’ apple and the ‘cooking’ apple.
The eating apple is sweet and pleasant tasting. The cooking apple is firm, tart and often has a green skin. Apples should be eaten un-peeled, as much of the nutrition is in and directly under the skin. Much more can be said about the ubiquitous apple. This should be enough to encourage you to find and enjoy a crisp, juicy, delicious apple.
Sweet apple history