It’s National Apple Week!
Whether it’s fresh-sliced apples, applewood-smoked meat, apple cider, or apple pie á la mode, we’re in love with this classic fruit. Today we explore a few of the delicious and fascinating reasons this deciduous delight is the apple of our eye.
1. Fascinating food science—The apple itself is a bushel (or is it a peck?) of scientific quirks:
- An apple by any other name…is still a member of the rose family (along with the pear and plum).
- Wanna be an apple scientist? The science of growing apples is known as pomology.
- Next time you bob for them, know that apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.
- It’s a team effort: One apple needs the energy from 50 leaves to grow.
- Need a pick-me-up? Apples contain high levels of boron, which increases mental alertness.
- Another reason to smile: Apples contain malic acid, a stain-dissolving chemical used in teeth whitening products.
- The true giving tree: Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
- Feel the press-ure: It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
- Don’t scrap the skin: Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants in apples are found in the peel.
- Beware! Malusdomesticaphobia is the fear of apples.
2.) As American as…Apples! The U.S. has a widespread appreciation for this fruit favorite:
- A is for Apple: Americans eat more apples per capita than any other fruit (fresh and processed combined). In 2012-13, Americans ate an average of 15.9 pounds of fresh apples, and 28.4 pounds of processed apples (such as juice, sauce, and cider), for a combined total of 44.3 pounds.
- Why so crabby? There are over 2,500 apple varieties grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America. There are 7,500 apple varieties worldwide.
- Everyone’s local favorite: Apples are grown in all 50 states, and are grown commercially in 36 states.
- Fan Favorite: Red Delicious apples are the most widely grown apple variety in the U.S.
- Ancient snacking: Archeologists have found evidence of apple consumption since at least 6500 B.C.
- Before the Big Apple: the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York in 1730.
- Watch the wooden teeth! One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
- Legendary status: John Chapman, aka “Johnny Appleseed” became an orchardist around 1812. He traveled widely to plant orchards, and as a result, Chapman owned around 1,200 acres of valuable land at the time of his death.
- State pride: The GoldRush apple, a sweet-tart yellow variety with a long shelf life, was named the official Illinois’ state fruit in 2007. Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia all also claim the apple as their state fruit.
Whether you dig into the history, the health benefits, or a slice of apple pie, enjoy the simple pleasure of America’s favorite fruit this weekend. Happy Foodie Friday!
And, of course, for something a little weird…
Talk about an ap-peel-ing talent! The world’s largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.