|Alternative names||Malus domestica|
|Grows in||China provides the largest proportion of the world’s apple supply. Other notable suppliers include the United States, Italy, Chile, France, New Zealand and South Africa.|
|The UK imports from||France and South Africa|
|Short history||It is thought that apples originated in Central Asia, with edible apples having been documented in Jordan from 6500 BC. Animals and birds consumed and spread the seeds, selecting the sweeter, larger and juicier fruits. Apples appear in Norse, Russian and Greek mythology, often as symbols of immortality, reincarnation and temptation, amongst other themes. Apples were brought to North America with the colonisers; the first apple orchard on the continent was in Boston in 1625.|
|Top health benefits||
It is a somewhat sad symbol of modernity that for many people, the word ‘apple’ now evokes warm and fuzzy feelings relating to their favourite piece of technology. In fact, when I typed ‘apple’ into Google, the first page of results was exclusively about my local Apple stores, reviews of the latest iPhone and a history of the company. In my eyes, the success of the brand is largely due to their choice of fruit.
Here in Boston, the apple-love has been strong this season. Indeed, this affair spread far beyond Boston, including all the way to the Big Apple. There have been ample opportunities to go apple picking in local orchards, and farmers markets have been bursting with beautiful produce. Apple ciders, hot and cold, are offered in pubs and cafes alike. In a world where it is, unfortunately, all too easy to become detached from the inherent seasonality of food, it is a joy to see local and seasonal produce being enjoyed and celebrated.
As we all know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are uniquely crunchy and make for the perfect snack, at any time of day. While we may be accustomed to apple pie and apple sauce, the fruit can also sneak into other recipes in surprising ways.
- Roasted pumpkin and apple soup
The flavours are delicately balanced in this naturally creamy autumnal soup. While squash and pumpkin soups may be tasty in themselves, the apple provides a subtle twist, which is sure to sharpen the taste buds. Garlic, olive oil and parsley are complements to most recipes. The soup is easy to make; just chop, roast, blend and enjoy!
- Grilled cheese, apple and rocket sandwich
‘Grilled cheese’ appears to be a stable sandwich in America. Many other countries have their own interesting cheese sandwich or pie versions, including the croque monsieur in France, the arepa de queso in Venezuela and khachapuri in Georgia. This funky variation is worth a try if you like the twangy sensation of granny smith apples and the peppery flavour of rocket salad.
- Apple, pear and hazelnut crumble
A traditional apple crumble will generally do the trick, but this recipe will not disappoint when the mood calls for something slightly more sophisticated. The pear complements the apple, while he seasonal spices of cinnamon and nutmeg fortify the flavours. The hazelnuts round off the dessert with a gentle crunch, leaving behind a sensational of autumnal bliss.