Veggies and Fruit

A Brief History of Apples

apple trees in an apple orchard

Apple trees are cultivated all around the world, and the most grown species is genus malus. This tree was very first originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor ‘Malussieversii’ is still found today. This fruit has been cultivated for thousands of years in Europe and Asia and was brought to North America by European.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a famous proverb because of the nutritional power of apples. A medium-sized apple contains:

  • 95 calories
  • 25gms carbohydrates
  • Contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, and folic acid
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14% of (RDI) reference daily intake
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI

Apples are good for weight loss, heart health, and may help prevent cardiovascular and cancerous diseases.

The History of Apple as a “Prohibited” Fruit.

The old evidence and indications tell about Adam and Eve, our Parents, or Father. They lived peacefully in paradise in total innocence until the Devil forced them to eat the forbidden fruit from the knowledge tree, the apple. And as punishment for their disobedience, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Paradise (Garden of Eden).

In the Bible, we can see the story of Adam and Eve.They were living comfortably in the paradise until a serpentappeared and madeEvefeel tempted by saying that “Did God actually said: you shall not eat any of that fruit in the garden?” The woman answered: God said: you may eat fruits of the trees in the garden, but you shall not eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must nottouch it, or you will die.

There is a strange fact about the history of apples that this fruit is linked with Adam and Eve’s disobedience. But the truth is that no theory says the fruit described in this story was an Apple. In reality, Apple was put into the story by Artists. Aquila Ponticus is an Author and a second-century translator who translated the old indications and proofs to Greek from Hebrew. He took the autonomy of translating it as an Apple Tree, even though the original text doesn’t exactly say that. He translated it into Greek for Greeks, because according to Greek mythology, apples were seen as a symbol of desire and destruction.

Prehistoric Wildings (8000 BCE)

Apple fruits have been with us since the dawn of recorded time in different colors, sizes, and shapes. Humans have been eating apples since prehistoric times. Ancient humans appear to have dry-stored apple-halves for winter in Switzerland and the regions adjoining the Caucasus Mountains.

Early Ancestors (2000 BCE)

The exact origin of apples is rather puzzling, but they are generally believedto come from the Caucasus Mountains in Asia Minor, where the 17th century Garden of Eden is located. They were carried by merchants and travelers down to the prehistoric trade routes, crossing the Middle East by 2000 BC. Apples were taken to Egypt from Palestine in the Nile delta during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, where they were treated as a luxury.

Norman Knowledge (1000 CE)

From the Romans, the French learned amazing Fruit-growing skills which were developed in the monasteries. This knowledge, which included Apple cider-making, was taken to the British during the Norman Conquest along with some new varieties of cider.

Medieval Favorites (1200)

During the thirteenth century, several kinds of apples became established in Britain. The Old English Pearmain in 1204, named due to its pear-like shape, was the main dessert apple until the eighteenth century. Its cooking partner was the Costard, which was sold in the market of Oxford until the end of the seventeenth century.

It gave us the word “costermonger”, which means a person who hawks fruits and vegetables in the street. However, prosperity declined as the country was hit by a drought, the Black Death, and Wars of Roses. Very few apples were produced, and more were imported. This went on until the 16th century when Henry VIII ordered his chief Richard Harris to visit France and learn about apple cultivation.

American Apples (1800)

Various varieties of apples emerged in the USA, and its apple industry was started by Henderson Luelling – an entrepreneur and an explorer who went west during the gold rush in a covered wagon full of soil and apple trees. His vehicle was so unmanageable that he was left behind by the rest of the wagon trains. He met with a person named William Meek in Washington State, and they started planting orchards. However, apples were in much demand from the gold prospectors in western states. A railway was also built, enabling apples to be distributed across the entire North American continent.

Granny Smith (1850)

Another most famous modern apple was discovered in Australia by Maria Anne Smith. She was known as ‘Granny Smith’ because she had delivered so many babies. But her husband’s health started to weaken due to which she took the responsibility of managing and maintaining the farm and orchard, which was the only main source of income.

Maria found a small tree one day in 1868 that was pushing its way through a pile of discarded fruit. She transplanted it, and soon a major crop of green apples became famous all over the world. According to her, “God makes something useful out of what we think is rubbish.”

Ancient Apple

Some scientists believe that Apple fruit was very first domesticated in the region of Kazakhstan named the Tian Shan. Domestic apples were grafted in the Near East by 2000 BC. Roman and Greek introduced the domesticated apple to Europe and North Africa during their trading. The Father of western cultivation was also impressed by this fruit because of the Greek usage of this fruit in many stories and tales (For example, the prohibited fruit of Garden of Eden, as we discussed above).

Apples Were Cultivated, But Not For Eating

In around 1607, Apple harvesting in North America began by the settlers at Jamestown. They brought cuttings and seeds with them from Europe. While the original varieties planted were not suited for cultivation in the new world, they started producing all-new varieties of American apples, and many of them were just bitter, unlike the tasty and sweet varieties that we can enjoy today. But they were still used for an important purpose in the colonial society: cider.

Cider is basically a non-alcoholic, unsweetened, and unfiltered beverage that is made from apples. It is the liquid extracted from apples and all its components, which are then boiled to concentration. This liquid from apple is inexpensive and easy to make. Some of its benefits include reduction of belly fat, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Most importantly, it can help improve digestion.

Malus Sieversii

MalusSieversii is still found today. It belongs to the origin of Red-fleshed apple and cultivated apples, also known as the ancestors of genus malus.

Many researchers focused on the origin and evolution of cultivated apples. Apple is a primary fruit which is grown in areas and regions around the world. It is important to understand the origin of cultivated and red-fleshed apples to utilize wild apple resources in order to breed apple hybrids effectively. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan were the Ancestors of cultivated apples; however, “Central Asia” is where this tree was first originated. It was the area of greater diversity and the center of origin of domesticated apple.

Malussieversii had been identified as the main contributor to the genome of cultivated apple (malusDomestica) based on molecular and historical evidence.

Malus Domestica

The flavor MalusDomestica easily beats the taste of shop-bought varieties of apples. Apple trees are very easy to grow and are available grafted to a wide range of rootstocks. They are perfect for growing in any size of garden – some could even grow in a container. MalusDomesticagrows well in a sunny spot, sheltered, where blossoms will attract a great variety of pollinators, and the sun will ripen the fruits excellently.

Malus Baccata

An Asian species of apples which inhabits northern areas of New England is known by common names like Siberian crab apple, Chinese crab apple, and Manchurian crab apple. These trees grow up to 33-47 feet high. They bear white fragrant flowers of 1.2 to 1.4 inches with a group of 4-6 petals, which are round, egg-shaped. Moreover, the fruits are yellow to red and have a spherical shape.

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