Ahhh! The apple. Has any other fruit garnered the interest and focus of legend and lore as the apple? It is widely regaled as the venerable forbidden fruit given by Eve to Adam bringing down all of humanity with that bite. Of fairy tale legend, Snow White met her ill-fated descent into deep slumber from a dissimilar bite of the poisonous apple prepared by the villainous witch. America has been symbolized by the apple pie; the teacher receives a shiny red apple as evidence of students’ esteem and little girls are the same as such fruit in their Daddy’s eyes.
The old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is much more than myth. Apples are the second most consumed fruit in the United States and with good reason. Recent studies show that eating apples reduce numerous important health risks. Apples greatly reduce arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, breast and lung cancers. Eating apples regularly improves respiration and digestion.
There are many new and hybrid varieties of apples found in grocery stores today. America is one of the world’s greatest producers of apples annually, harvested by 3,000 farms. There are 9,000 varieties of apples. 70% of the most popular commercial varieties, are grown in China.
Agricultural researchers have been attempting to develop a strain of apple that is highly resistent to diseases to avoid use of pesticides. The chemical companies are vehemently opposed to this research. In working against natural advancements, the successful development of fungus and disease resistent apples has been held-down since the early 1980s when such a fruit was first successfully introduced.
Apples grow all over the world, many grow in the wild, but most of those are hard, sour and small. Most popular commercial apples are:
- Braeburn: the first of the new varieties of bi-colored supermarket apples. It originated in New Zealand in the 1950s and now accounts for 40% of all apples produced in that country. It is a first-rate dessert apple.
- Cortland: this apple is a cross between a Ben Davis and a McIntosh which creates a large red/orange fruit that’s great for salads.
- Fuji: one of the sweetest apple varieties presenting a white flesh and greenish-pink skin. This is a large apple, great for eating.
- Gala: growing as a favorite, has an appealing outward appearance and a sweet taste accompanied by its firm, crispness. Gala apples grow nine months of the year and are good for pie baking and eating,
- Golden Delicious: a personal selection for pies. This yellow-green apple has been around for many years and is a perrenial favorite
- Granny Smith: a tart, juicy, green apple, also a great choice for cooking due to it’s firmness and venerable tastefulness. Because it’s grown in U.S. warm climates, New Zealand and Australia, it’s generally available year-around.
- Honey Crisp: a large, sweet, crisp and juicy apple modern apple from the U.S., developed at/by the University of Minnesota to grow well in cold climates. A fast-increasing favorite
- Jonathan: a classic American red and green streaked apple, selected for its terrific sweet-sharp flavor.
- Jona Gold: this apple is a delicious hybrid of the Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples. A current commerical favorite for the best of the characteristics of its parents, widely available in supermarkets.
- McIntosh: known for its distinctive bright, red color and tart ‘n sweet flavor. It’s great for eating, but not hardy enough for cooking.
- Red Delicious: a large, apple known for its five “pegs” at the base. Very firm and juicy, not particularly tart, though. This is not a good choice for a cooking apple.
- Rome: this apple can be somewhat mealy and boasts a deep red skin. This one holds-up to heat; a great selection for baked apples.
- Stayman: a dull, red apple that presents a tartness in flavor. Good for eating as well as a good cooking apple.
- Winesap: bite into this , dark, red apple to find yellowish flesh that’s a juicy and tart apple. Also stores well.
TIPS: When preparing apples for salads, sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. When slicing for cooking, place in cold water to retard browning.