Twelve Fun Facts About Apples
12 Fun Facts about Apples
1. Apples are the fruit from a deciduous tree known as Malus pumila. It is part of the rose family, which means it is related to edible fruits like apricots and strawberries, almonds, and decorative bushes and shrubs like roses, photinias and hawthorns. Apple trees generally stand 6-15 feet when cultivated, or up to 30 feet when growing in the wild. The fruit matures in late summer or early autumn.
2. There are over 7,500 different cultivars of apples. Some of the most common for eating include Gala, Red and Yellow Delicious, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Honeycrisp.
3. Generally, cider apples are considered to be too sour or bitter to eat by themselves, which is why they are turned into cider. A few varieties are used for both but tend to be less sweet.
4. Most apple trees give just one crop per year, but a variety called “Carolina Red June” actually blossoms twice in a year, producing two crops. It is generally grown in the southern United States and was a popular Civil War-era apple.
5. John Chapman (1774-1845), also known as Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer and legend who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Ontario, and West Virginia. He is known for planting nurseries everywhere he went, putting fences around them, and teaching locals to care for the apple trees. Supposedly, only one tree that he planted still stands today, on a farm in Nova, Ohio.
6. A type of apple called “Flower of Kent” is believed to be the variety that inspired Sir Isaac Newton to study gravity. The story goes that Newton observed an apple falling to the ground and wondered why it always fell straight down, not sideways or upwards. He deduced that a force must be pulling it towards the Earth’s center. Many cartoons depict the apple hitting Newton on the head, but this is likely not true.
7. The Roxbury Russet apple is the oldest known variety of apple grown in the United States. It was planted by the pilgrims in 1640 as a foundation stock for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
8. A Granny Smith apple is the variety that was once used to represent Apple Records, a United Kingdom record label founded by the Beatles in the late 1960s.
9. Apple’s line of Macintosh computers were named after the McIntosh apple, a very popular variety of apple used for eating and making applesauce. The employee who named the line of personal computers, Jef Raskin, purposefully misspelled the word to avoid confusion with McIntosh Laboratory, a company that manufactured hi-fi equipment.
10. In ancient Greece, apples were considered to be sacred to the goddess Aphrodite. To throw an apple at somebody meant that you were declaring your love for them, and to catch the apple meant you accepted their declaration of love and the feelings were mutual.
11. The phrase “comparing apples to oranges” refers to making a comparison between two items that cannot be practically compared, primarily because they are too “different.” The idiom is not just an English phrase… In France they compare “apples to pears,” in some Latin American countries they compare “potatoes to sweet potatoes,” and in Portugal, they compare oranges to bananas. In fact, some countries use completely different items to portray the same idiom… In Serbia they compare “grandmothers and toads,” in Romania, they compare “cows and longjohns,” and in Wales, they compare “honey and butter.” Several tongue-in-cheek scientific studies have been released to say that apples and oranges can, in fact, be compared quite easily.
12. The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is thought to have originated in Wales. The original phrase was “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” Some recent studies have found that eating apples may help to prevent strokes and lower bad cholesterol.