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In Praise of Apples

Fun Facts about Apples

(courtesy of Maryland's Best)
  • The first apple trees in America were planted by the pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay colony.
  • The science of apple growing is referred to as Pomology.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family, along with pears, peaches, plums and cherries.
  • Apples are not self-pollinating. They need bees to pollinate the flowers to form the fruit.
  • Apples float because 25% of an apple's volume is air.
  • There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • The game of apple-bobbing began as a Celtic New Year's tradition for trying to determine one's future spouse.
  • One apple has 5 grams of fiber. They're also fat, sodium and cholesterol free.
  • Don't peel your apple! Two-thirds of the fiber and many of the antioxidants are found in the apple peel.
  • Americans eat an average of 50.4 pounds of apples and apple products each year.
  • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
  • Commercial apple trees are not grown from a seed because any kind of apple can grow from any kind of seed. For example: if you planted seeds from a Red Washington apple, you could very well end up with a Gala Apple fruit tree! In the same manner that apple trees grown from seeds may have the same "parents", the seedling siblings would all be a little different. So, every apple seed can potentially produce a new variety.
© Felicity Photography

What Kind of Apple Eater Are You?

There are almost as many ways to eat an apple as there are apple varieties. What kind of apple eater are you? Compare your munching method with these apple profiles.

Compulsive Wedger: This apple eater can't eat the apple whole and must have perfect, core-free wedges neatly arranged on a plate. Each wedge must equal one-eighth of an apple.

Splitter: This apple eater hates to deal with the core, but isn't compulsive enough to bother with wedges — just chop the apple in half, remove the core and munch contentedly. Muscle-bound types show off their brute force by twisting the apple in half with their bare hands (though in fact it's really not that difficult).

Circle Stickler: This rebellious sort slices the apple against the grain — across the core, to make round slices. She can often be found with convenient slices of cheese at hand. This person knows that round apple slices are much better than crackers!

Top-to-Bottom Type: This methodical muncher starts at the stem and munches all the way down to the bottom. He doesn't change the apple's position until one vertical top-to-bottom pass had been completed. He then rotates the apple to continue in the next lane until the whole thing is done.

Equator Eater: Probably the most common approach, this muncher takes bites out of the center of the apple all the way around, until the apple looks something like a mushroom on a mirror. The nibbler then attacks the top, and finally the bottom, which is somewhat less convenient as there is no place left to hold apple without getting one's fingers juicy — but she doesn't mind!

The Streak: This eater prefers to eat his apples in the nude — the apple, that is! He does not care about what he's been told about all those vitamins and fiber in the skin, peeling the stuff right off, preferably in one long winding piece. Once the peeling is complete, he either eats the apple whole or sliced. The latter method is usually employed, as the apple's skinless state can lead to copious juice drippings.

Core-Free Cruncher: This muncher comes in two personalities. Type B loves gadgets and small appliances. He eats a lot of apples because he gets to use that nifty "apple corer" gadget. Type A is a seedophobic and doesn't care whether she gets to use a gadget, knife or sharp fingernails - she just has to get those darned seeds out of there before she'll even take one bite! The Type A personality does avoid core disposal issues, however.

Stem Plucker: Before the first bite, this apple muncher grabs the apple's stem and twists, saying one letter of the alphabet with each turn. The letter at which the stem comes off has profound meaning, usually interpreted as the first initial of the name of the future spouse. (Married munchers, take note: Turns can be modified to ensure the stem comes out at the desired letter.) Particularly curious Stem Pluckers continue the ritual by poking the outside of the apple with the stem to determine the number of children they will have, said to be equal to the number of pokes it takes to break the skin of the apple. (Hey, we don't make these things up, we just reprint 'em.) In a recent, incredibly unscientific poll, three out of four people surveyed reported themselves to be Stem Pluckers.

© Felicity Photography