Apples were first introduced in America by European colonists in the 1600s, but the first apple tree is believed to have originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago.
Today there are 7,500 known cultivars (varieties) of apples. The United States is the second largest producer, while China is number one and Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland.
It may be true that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Nutritionally, apples are rated as one of the healthiest foods we can eat. One medium apple is 95 calories and loaded with healthy fiber (17.4%) and vitamin C (11.1%). Apples contain quercetin, too, a flavonoid thought to regulate blood sugar.
Most of all, apples are part of our culture and way of life, filling our senses and memories with their sweet aroma, and often cinnamon scent. Apples are best eaten fresh, but who can forget Mom's apple pie and all those other scrumptious desserts this fruit does so well?
"Fresh Apple Pound Cake"
1-1/2 cup vegetable oil..............3 cups unsifted flour
2 cups white sugar.....................1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs.........................................1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups finely chopped pared apple
1 cup chopped (medium fine) pecans or walnuts
In mixer beat oil, sugar, eggs & vanilla till combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture till smooth. Fold in apples and nuts. Turn into greased & floured 10"x4" bundt pan. Bake 325 degrees. 1hr 20min or until done. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 min.
1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 tsp. milk. (Add brandy or rum flavoring for an extra treat). Boil 2 min.
With small spatula loosen cake edges & around tube. Turn out on rack. At once spoon hot mixture over still warm cake, allowing it to run down sides. (Poke holes in cake with toothpick for topping to soak in). Cool completely. May be stored for a day or two in tightly covered tin box. For longer storage, cover & refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. (A nice gift at Christmastime).
--What do you get if you cross a jogger with an apple pie?
"Dad!" he puffed, "is it true an apple a day keeps the doctor away?"
"That's what they say," said his Dad.
"Well, give me an apple quick. I've just broken the doctor's window!"
|The Apple Dumpling Gang|
--The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) - three orphans strike gold in the Wild West.
--The Apple (1980) - a musical science fiction film
--Noon Blue Apples (2002) - a college student reads diary of occult novelist, has bizarre nightmarish experience.
--Adam's Apple (2005) - a neo-Nazi is sentenced to community service.
Many are for children:
Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway. A wonderful book about standing up to bullies. (Mac is called a "rotten" and "bad apple)."
One from World War II still sung today:
"Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" (by The Tonettes)