Mark it in your calendars — 17 September is International Eat an Apple Day! Whatever you are doing on this day, make sure to eat an apple. This day occurs on the third Saturday of September every year. So go and find the biggest, juiciest apple there is, and take a big bite out of it.
Now it’s time to journey through the origins of the ‘forbidden’ fruit.
Origins of the apple
While there are no official records of the first apple, in 1929 Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov traced the apple genome. He discovered that the primary ancestor of the ancient apple tree was Malus sieversii.
Malus sieversii is a wild apple that can be found in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan. They have been growing there for many years and are still growing to this day.
In Kazakhstan, the city of Almaty claimed the honour of the birthplace of the apple nearly 100 years ago. Almaty was previously the capital of Kazakhstan until 1991 (Nur-Sultan is now the capital city). Prior to Almaty finding its name, the city was formerly known as Alma-Ata which translates to ‘father of apples’.
The city of Almaty is home to the original apple, which many have recommended not to consume due to its bitter taste. Today, apples have been developed to become one of the most popular and tastiest pieces of fruit. It can be eaten on its own, in a salad and even in a pie. Here are five of the more unconventional ways to use an apple:
- apple pie panini
- mixing the classic sandwich and a tasty apple pie, with the addition of ice cream, gives you the apple pie panini. Make sure to use cinnamon raisin bread and creamy honeyed mascarpone for ultimate satisfaction.
- apple gouda hand pies
- the combination of gouda cheese and sweet apples encrusted in a buttery crust sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
- apple fries with cheesecake dip
- frying apples in sugar and adding a creamy caramel cheesecake dip sounds delicious. While it’s not the healthiest way to consume an apple, you can look forward to it on your next cheat day.
- apple cinnamon kombucha
- combining crunchy apples and cinnamon can lead to your very own homemade kombucha. A healthy drink you can enjoy at any time of the day.
- apple sangria
- similar to the kombucha but make it alcoholic. It’s the perfect drink to have after a long hard day at work.
Fun facts about apples
Now you know where apples originate from and how to use them, it’s time for some fun facts about apples:
- apple trees take anywhere from four to ten years to produce their first fruit
- the fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia
- apples contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol and are full of fibre
- the largest apple ever picked weighed just shy of 1.5 kilograms
- apples will ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature
- in Chinese culture, apples are a symbol of peace
- in Greek mythology, apples represent immortality
- there are 7500 different types of apples in existence; from your grocery store favourites like the pink lady apple to wild apples (many of which are not fit for consumption).
Stories about apples
In the spirit of fun, apples have been the epicentre of many different stories, books and movies (honestly, the list goes on!). Below are just a few of the most famous stories to feature an apple:
- The Book of Genesis
This is one of (if not the most) iconic tales about an apple. It was the only fruit that lay in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were told by God that they were forbidden from eating the apple. However, the serpent appears and convinces Eve to disobey God, pick the apple and eat it. After Adam and Eve consumed the apple, they covered up their nakedness, became aware of sin and had to leave the garden.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
This famous fairy tale encapsulates why you should never talk to or trust strangers. The seven dwarves warned Snow White about this before trusting the wicked Queen. The Queen persuaded Snow White that the apple would grant her one wish if she took a bite. When Snow White took a bite of the apple, she fell to the floor in a death-like slumber.
- Ten Apples Up on Top
This Dr Suess novel is a light-hearted story that features a lion, a dog and a tiger who consistently pile apples on top of their heads for fun, as they count from one to ten. The three animals are then chased by a bear with a mop and birds who are trying to knock down and eat the apples. In the end, they run into a huge apple cart and all the animals end up with ten apples on their heads.
So, to commemorate this wonderfully unique day, make sure you remember to eat an apple!
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