Ever since Adam ate that apple, it's been associated with sin...
In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the vehicle of man's falling into sin. Today, we refer to something we prize as, "The apple of our eye" Historically, carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying them during the Stone Age in Europe. The first remains of apples that were found, are from around 6,500 B.C. in excavations at Jericho in the Jordan Valley. Also around 5,000 B.C. Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, gave up his prestigious government position when he became consumed by grafting apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of Enrichment." Greek and Roman mythology referred to apples as symbols of love and beauty. Jump ahead to 1665 Sir Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground, and wondering why it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of gravity and motion. Robert Prince in 1737 established the first commercial apple tree nursery in America called William Prince Nursery in Flushing, New York. One of America's fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800's. Well there really was a Johnny Appleseed, and his true name was John Chapmen. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled around the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees. It is estimated that he traveled 100,000 square miles of frontier country. Ahead to 1989, researchers at Cornell University use a "gene gun" to successfully transfer an anti-bacterial gene from a Cecropia moth to a fireblight susceptible apple tree. This gene transfer from an animal to a plant enabled the tree to develop its own fireblight resistance. Here, agriculturalists and naturalists applaud, and chemical companies cringe. This puts land grant colleges of agriculture, in a bind because their funding comes from herbicide and pesticide manufacturers. Recently in 2000 researchers at the University of California discover powerful new anti-oxidants in apples. Here's some fun Apple facts:
- There are 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide, and 2,500 grow in the U.S.
- Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
- Apple trees don't grow from seeds, they are grafted or budded
- Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
- 61% of apples are eaten fresh and 39% are processed into juice and sauce
- Red Delicious is the most widely grown followed by Golden Delicious
- Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
- A medium apple is about 80 calories.
- Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
- The largest apple picked weighed 3.2 pounds.
"An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"
The cardiovascular benefits of apples are well-documented in research studies, and they are closely associated with two aspects of apple nutrients, their water-soluble fiber, pectin content, and their unusual mix of polyphenols. Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased through regular intake of apples. While not as developed as research in other areas, preliminary health benefits of apples have also been established for several age-related health problems, including macular degeneration of the eye. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples. Like the lung cancer benefits of apples, the anti-asthma benefits have also been surprising to health researchers. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.
The apple is actually a member of the Rose family, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably brisk and tart. Tart apples, which best retain their texture during cooking, are often preferred for cooked desserts like apple pie, while Delicious apples and other sweeter varieties like Rome and Fuji apples are usually eaten raw. Whole apples are a much better nutritional choice than apple juice. Not only are whole apples richer in dietary fiber, but the current processes of juicing seem to drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient concentrations originally found in the whole fruit. You've no doubt heard the saying, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, research studies agree. An apple that has been bruised from being dropped, or that has been damaged in some other way, it will start to release unusual amounts of ethylene gas. This ethylene gas can pose a risk to other apples that have not been damaged and greatly decrease their shelf life. So handle your fruit with a little TLC, and remove any damaged apples from groups of apples that you store.
- Popular varieties for eating are; gala, granny smiths, golden delicious, pink ladies, fujis, jonathons, mutsu, red delicious and spartans.
- Other eating varieties are; cox orange pippins (very popular apple in England), braeburns (popular New Zealand graft variety), lady williams and gravensteins.
- Apples that are good for cooking; granny smiths, cox orange pippins, gravensteins, lady williams and golden delicious.
Eat them raw, eat them cooked, or my favorite have them with your favorite vodka. It's no secret apples are one of the truly great foods we could always add more of, to our lives. Good Luck...
Appletini / Apple Martini
It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple pucker.
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an Apple Slice
Try Some Caramel Apples This Fall !!
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