Apples, Apples, and more Apples

October 6th, 2011

A few days ago, I was writing about apple picking for The Cottages at Summer Village Newsletter and thought that it might be fun to blog about Maine apples.  There can’t be that many; heck, most of us can only name 5 or 6 apple varieties.  It should be easy. 

Then I started to do a little research, it turns out that there are over 7,500 varieties of apples in the world; 2,500 varieties in the United States alone!  Guess it won’t be that easy. 

So instead of making a list and a description of each apple in Maine, I thought it might be more fun to look at some apple facts.

  • The apple was first discovered in the Middle East by Alexander the Great and was brought back to Macedonia as root stock.  Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  • Apples were brought to North America with colonists in the 17th century,and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was said to be near Boston in 1625.
  • In colonial time, apples were called winter bananas or melt-in-the-mouth.
  • The apple is the official state fruit of Rhode Island, New York, Washington, and West Virginia.  The apple blossom is the official state flower of Michigan and Arkansas.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
  • At least 64 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2008.  Forty-two percent of all apples produced were grown in China.  The United States produced approximately 6.6%, followed by Iran, Turkey, Russia, and India with approximately 3.3% each.
  • To keep potatoes fresh and prevent sprouting, put an apple in the bag.
  • Americans eat approximately 19.1 pounds of apples a year.
  • Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.
  • To prevent discoloration of peeled apples, place peeled slices in a pan of cold water to which a pinch of salt has been added (for each whole apple peeled).
  • When making salads, dip apple slices in fresh lemon juice to prevent slices from turning brown
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • Every wonder why you can bob for apples?  Fresh apples float because 25% of their volume is air.