A is for Apples

Apples have always been a favorite fruit of mine. When my kids were growing up, I’d serve them sliced or as chunks threaded on small bamboo skewers. Sometimes I’d have a small bowl of melted caramel for them to dip their apple pieces in.

As a child, I remember coming in from playing one chilly fall day to find a bowl of highly polished apples on the kitchen table. I imagined the wicked witch offering Snow White a similarly polished apple. When I asked my mother how she got them so shiny, she just smiled.

Although available year-round, apples are most associated with autumn. When the temperatures start to drop and the leaves start to turn, apple-themed festivals and baked goods become more frequent.


The top five apples varieties grown in the U.S. in 2009

  1. Red Delicious
  2. Gala
  3. Golden Delicious
  4. Granny Smith
  5. Fuji

One bad apple....

Remember that line from the Osmond song: "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl?"

Well, that isn't true. If you have one apple starting to decay, it's best to pull it out of the storage bin because yes, the others will start to go bad.

When you are choosing apples in the store, pick those that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.

After you bring your apples home, keep them in plastic bags in the refrigerator up to six weeks, checking them often for those going bad.

Apples can be eaten out of hand, used in baked goods and even made into salsa! To prevent them from turning brown from oxidation, dip them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.


Source

DId you know.....

  • Apples are a member of the rose family
  • There is evidence that humans may have enjoyed apples as far back as 6500 B.C.
  • Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples are not in the same family, they just have similar names.
  • The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.
  • Apples ripen much faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated. Ideally, apples should be kept at 35-40 degrees with relative humidity at 80-90%.
  • The average U.S. consumer eats an estimated 45 pounds of apples a year.
  • The apple is the official state fruit of Rhode Island, New York, Washington, and West Virginia. The apple blossom (Pyrus coronaria) is the official state flower of Arkansas and Michigan.
  • The Honey Crisp is a modern apple variety, developed in the 1960s.


Top 5 apple producing states

  1. Washington
  2. New York
  3. Michigan
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. California

Top 5 apple producers in the world

  1. China (53% of world production)
  2. United States (6.8%)
  3. Poland (4.2%)
  4. Turkey (4.0%)
  5. Italy (3.6%)

(based on 2009/2010 crop data)

What's in an apple?

The US government recommends at least 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. A medium-sized apple is considered one serving.

One apple provides 80 calories but has no fat, cholesterol or sodium. An apple also has 5g of dietary fiber and provides 2% of the Vitamin A and 8% of the Vitamin C recommended by the government.

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Apple crate labels as art

When refrigerated rail cars became the norm in the late 1800s, perishable goods were able to be shipped across the country. Fruits and vegetables were shipped in small wooden crates and to facilitate identifying various growers' produce, colorful labels were pasted on them. These labels featured a wide variety of designs, ranging from pastoral to patriotic and featuring women, animals and symbolic imagery. Today, these vibrant and colorful paper labels are collectors' items.

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Variety
Texture
When available
Baking
Eating & Salads
Pies
Sauce
Sweet
 
 
 
 
 
 
Crispin/Mutsu
Crisp
Late September to early Oct
X
X
X
X
Fuji
Crisp
mid to late Oct.
 
X
 
 
Gala
Crisp
mid August to early Sept
X
X
 
X
Golden Delicious
Crisp
mid to late Sept
X
X
X
X
Honeycrisp
Crisp
September
X
X
 
 
Red Delicious
Crisp
mid to late Sept.
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sweet-tart
 
 
 
 
 
 
Braeburn
Crisp
early to mid-Oct.
X
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Slightly tart
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cameo
Crisp
October
X
X
X
X
Jonathan
Tender
mid to late Sept
 
X
X
X
McIntosh
Tender
September
 
X
 
X
Rome
Slightly Crisp
late Sept. through Oct.
X
 
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tart
 
 
 
 
 
 
Granny Smith
Crisp
mid to late Oct.
X
X
X
 

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Apple Avocado Salsa

Ingredients
2 unpeeled apples, cored and diced
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. diced green onion, including top
1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. minced jalapeno pepper
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
Dash pepper

Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve with cooked fish, pork or chicken.

Makes 2-1/2 cups

Making cider at Yates Cider Mill

I grew up in Michigan and fall meant a trip to Yates Cider Mill in nearby Rochester. Yates is known for making a premium cider made up of a blend of six different varieties. Yates Grist Mill opened in 1863 beside the then Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal. Around 1876, the Yates family installed a cider press and the mill then became known as Yates Cider Mill after local farmers, orchard owners and landowners began bringing their apples to Yates for apple pressing.

Here is a video of how the Yates family makes their cider.

Do you like apples?

See results without voting

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What is your favorite apple?

See results without voting

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More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

equine profile image

equine 5 years ago from Hillsboro, MO

Great information. Your photo made me want to go out and buy some apples!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Wow, that was quick! I just published this a few minutes ago. Thanks for reading and commenting.


europewalker profile image

europewalker 5 years ago

I love apple pie, apple pancakes and apple cake. In the evening if I am hungry I will eat a red delicious apple. Will have to try the avocado apple salsa, sounds good!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi europewalker! Thanks for commenting and let me know how that salsa turns out. It does sound good but I haven't tried it yet. I love apple pie, too but have never made one - I hear the crust is tough to make.


TeriSilver profile image

TeriSilver 5 years ago from The Buckeye State

Oh, how I love Macs! Only a few months of the year ...


homesteadpatch profile image

homesteadpatch 5 years ago from Michigan

Great hub! Pie crust isn't too bad to make, and once you do, you may never buy it again.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Teri - Red Delicious used to be my favorite until I tried a HoneyCrsip. That is now my favorite. Too bad they have a limited run in our area.

Homesteadpatch - Someday I will give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and commenting.


Giselle Maine 5 years ago

I loved the info about the top apple varieties. I also loved getting to vote in your poll for my favorite variety! Another of your beautifully laid out hubs. Thanks for this wonderful information.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Giselle for the nice comments! I had fun putting it together.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub with lots of interesting facts, recipes and suggestions for storing apples so that they last longer.

I love apples and often add them to my salads. But there's nothing quite as wonderful as going to an orchard in the fall and biting into a freshly picked apple.

Voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya Danette, I've learned so much from your apple hub. I love apples and everything with apples. Apple pie is my all-time favourite pie. Very informative hub and great presentation. Voted up up up!!!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Gail for the votes up. I haven't been to an orchard in years, not since going on a field trip with my older son. Haven't seen much of you online and I hope you're doing well.

Rosie,thanks for reading and the vote up. Apples are such a versatile fruit it's easy to find lots of uses for them.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Danette, what great information, I have learnt so much from your hub, I love apples especially the Gala.

Many thanks for sharing and voting up, best wishes MM


billabongbob profile image

billabongbob 5 years ago from South Wales, UK

I love apples and so do my children, eventhough they are all grown up now. I buy several different varieties for everyone's different tastes, there's always apples in the house. We eat them whole or cooked in pie or pancakes, and apple sauce gets made when there's an abundance of the fruits at this time of year.

Thanks for the fascinating hub, I think I'll give the salsa a try, I'll let you know how it goes ;).


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Great information in this hub. My new favorite apple is the Ginger Crisp. They have been selling them at our local produce store and they have a great flavor. I'm definitely trying these recipes.

My inlaws have LOTS of apple trees on their farm and they are dripping with apples this year. I really don't know what we will do with all of them. On my list is my usual applesauce and I'm going to try my hand at canning some apple butter this year. And I love the Yates video! We'll have to make a stop there this year. :)


Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Living here in WNC we are in the largest apple producing county of North Carolina. We have an annual apple festival and the Honeycrisp has become one of the favorites. My choice is the Golden Delcious.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

I love apples, especially Macintosh! As kids, apples were almost always available, and my mother often made apple deserts like pie, dumplings and coffee cakes. There's just noting like the smell of apples baking!

Your hub was great, with lots of interesting and useful information. It made me nostalgic for the days when we used to visit the apple orchards and the cider mill each fall in upstate New York. Voted up!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

If I can get to an apple grower I prefer to buy a lot of apples at once.I freeze the ones we can not eat right away.voted up.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi MovieMaster - I like Gala as well but have to say Honeycrisp is my top choice. Glad you learned something here, always happy to share what I know.

billiabongbob - please do let me know about that salsa.

Cara- Gingercrisp? That's new one I've not heard before. I'll have to look for it in the stores around here.

Cousin Fudd - I'll bet it's beautiful where you live! Would love to visit that area some day. The apple fest sounds fun and was the idea that sparked this hub. I was assigned to cover a local apple fest for the newspaper but was very disappointed in it. Had very little to do with apples and more to do with just vendors selling flea market stuff.

Thanks Stephanie. Childhood memories can be very strong and I'm glad yours were pleasant. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Dahoglund - freezing apples and other fruits and vegetables is certainly a smart move when you can't get your hands on the fresh stuff as often as you'd like. Thanks for the vote up.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

I think I meant Ginger Gold, but they are delicious! I sent Mom home with one since she hadn't had them before either.


miccimom profile image

miccimom 5 years ago from U.S.A

I love apples. This was a great hub!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks miccimom! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping to read and comment.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub, sister. Oh, the memories of Yates Cider Mill-didn't realize they were featured on foodnetwork, cool!

My fave is prob the Fuji, but I had one of the Ginger Crisp that Cara mentions here b/c she gave me one for my trip home. Delicious!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

@ Dee - Cara mentioned that apple, she thinks it was Ginger Gold. Either way, I"ll have to try one if I see it. Especially when Sam is home, he loves apples.


akune profile image

akune 5 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

Danette, you do what you do so easily. I read your hubs and want to be where you are and do the things you do. It sounds so far from my great, busy colourful-in -a -different way life. I read your autumn hub and it took me here. Glad I came. I only like to eat Gala apples.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks akune but the grass isn't always greener on the other side! The good thing about hub pages is we get to vicariously experience parts of the world we wouldn't ordinarily get to see or do.

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