The apple is a sweet, sometimes sour, round edible fruit, the size of a man’s palm, that is often found in various shades of red or green. The former is more common than the latter.

In addition to being eaten apples are also used in the manufacture of cider (an alcoholic beverage of some strength) and that increases the demand for apples or generates more demand for the fruit, especially apples that are deemed not suitable for retail due to factors like size, taste and at times because they are overly ripe.

The fruit, which is probably the most consumed fruit in the world, has found its way into the realm of folklore. In Irish mythology, Connla a character in the Ulster Circle of Irish Myths, was seduced by a maiden who gave him an apple that would become whole again once it was eaten or rejuvenate itself.

Likewise, in Druid folklore, the Celtic God Bran was enticed to walk through the gates of the underworld by a maiden with an apple and in Greek mythology, in a race between the skilled huntress Atalante and her suitor Melanion, the latter distracted the huntress with golden apples so that he could win the race. He dropped three golden apples on the ground and Atalante was so taken aback when she stumbled across the apples that she stopped to pick them up and thereby gave her suitor enough time to get ahead.

Being a fruit of antiquity there are various verses in the bible that make references to it for example "like an apple tree in the forest, so is my beloved among the young men in its shade. I took great delight and sat down and his fruit was sweet to my taste" - Song of Solomon 2:3

The fruit originated in Central Asia/Asia Minor, in the area that is now southern Kazakhstan, close to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China’s Xinjiang Province but could just as easily have come from Turkey.

China is the largest producer of apples in the world accounting for 49.78% of global production followed by the United States 6.22%, Turkey 3.65%, Poland 2.94%, India 2.72%, Iran 2.52%, Italy 2.31%, Chile 2.12%, France 2.06% and the Russian Federation 1.97%.
Apples grow well in subtropical climates, or regions where there are four seasons coupled with warm summers and cool to mild winters with an average temperature of 10 °c and a median temperature that rarely exceeds 18 °c.

Apple trees can grow in most types of soils but poor soil will yield poor results and the best apple trees grow in fertile, loamy soil with PH levels that range from 5.5 - 6.5 on the PH scale i.e. soil that is more acidic in nature and substance.

The fruit is rich in vitamin content especially vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, vitamin C and folate (folic acid - a B vitamin) and the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” most likely sums up the health benefits derived from eating apples regularly.

 Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward


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