Food Tips

Apple Facts

Okanagan Fruit Facts

Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, yellows. Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie. Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan. 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States. 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free. A medium apples is about 80 calories. Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber. In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres just in the USA.

The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The science of apple growing is called pomology. Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit. Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.

Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. Apples are propagated by two methods: grafting or budding. The apple variety ‘Delicious’ is the most widely grown in the North America. In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.

The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea. Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples are a member of the rose family. Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each. 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air. That is why they float. The largest apple picked weighed three pounds. Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually. Many growers use dwarf apple trees. Charred apples have been found in prehistoric dwellings in Switzerland. Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white. Some apple trees will grown over forty feet high and live over a hundred years. Most apples can be grown farther north than most other fruits because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage. It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple. Apples were once called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth. Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.

China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. World’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. The Lady or Api apple is one of the oldest varieties in existence.

Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London. In 1730 the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York. One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees. America’s longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.

Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C. The world’s largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)

It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider. Apples account for 50% of the world’s deciduous fruit tree production The old saying, “ an apple a day, keeps the doctor away ”. This saying comes from am old English adage, “ To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”

Don’t peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.

The five most popular apples in the United States are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith.

The most popular apples are:
McIntosh, a deep red color with a green background.
Red Delicious, deep red, elongated shaped and five bumps on bottom.
Empire, dark red, blush with a splash of yellow or green.
Idared, bright red with greenish-yellow patches.
Crispin (or Mutsu), greenish-yellow exterior with an orange blush.
Golden Delicious, yellow or greenish-yellow exterior, elongated shape, five bumps on bottom.
Spartan, dark red skin.
Cortland, bright red with yellow cheek.
Northern Spy, red-striped skin with green color. Northern Spy is the number 1 baking apple.

Best Apples for Eating
McIntosh
Cortland
Jonathan
Red Delicious
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Melrose
Franklin
Prima
Freezing for Sauce
Yellow Transparent
Wealthy
Cortland
McIntosh
Freezing for Baking
Baldwin
Northern Spy
Applesauce
Golden Delicious
Melrose
Yellow Transparent
McIntosh
Cortland Jonathan
Grimes Golden
Stayman Winesap
Rome Beauty
Lodi
Pies
Cortland
Jonathan
Grimes Golden
Melrose
Rome Beauty
Yellow Transparent
McIntosh
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Lodi
Baking
Jonathan
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Rome Beauty
McIntosh
Cortland
Grimes Golden
Melrose
Stayman Winesap

Freezing for Slicing
Jonathan
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Red Delicious
Grimes Golden
McIntosh

Cider The best cider is usually made from a blend of different varieties of apples. Varieties are grouped into four groups according to their suitability as cider material.

Sweet Subacid*
Rome Beauty
Delicious
Grimes Golden
Cortland

Astringent (Crab apples)
Florence Hibernal
Red Siberian
Transcendent
Martha
Aromatic
Red Delicious
Golden Delicious
McIntosh

Mildly Acid to Slightly Tart
Stayman Winesap
Jonathan General Use Jonathan
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Melrose
* Usually furnish the highest percentage of total stock used for cider.

Johnny Appleseed apple trees were grown and prized for their fruit by the people of ancient Rome. It is believed that the Romans took cultivated apples with them into England when they conquered the country. Apple growing became common in England and many other parts of Europe.

Both the seeds of apples and the trees themselves were brought to America from England, probably in 1629. John Endicott, one of the early governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony, is said to have brought the first trees to America. The cultivated varieties of apples gradually spread westward from the Atlantic Coast. John Chapman is said to have helped spread apple growing in America. He carried apple seeds with him wherever he went, and planted them in thinly settled parts of the country. For this reason, he became known as “Johnny Appleseed”.

The logical place to start our exploration of the apple’s history in Canada is in Atlantic Canada. Fruit growing was introduced to Nova Scotia by the early French settlers sometime in the early 1600s. They were a self-sufficient lot; each homestead had several apple trees. By drying apples, settlers could have the fruit available to them year-round to make pies, puddings, tarts and many other dishes.
An adventurous soul named Nicholas Denys was one such settler who came to the new world with dreams of managing a string of fur-trading posts in Northern Acadia. When his venture failed, he retired to a small farm where he tended a garden that included fruit trees. Denys kept a journal of his garden’s progress, in which he recorded information about fruit propagation in the area. It became a valuable resource for fruit growers who came after him.

In 1862, Nova Scotia apples were being showcased in an exhibition in London, England to wide acclaim. By the 1930s, Nova Scotia was exporting 75% of its production to the UK, but that changed dramatically with the outbreak of war, and by the time the war ended, Europe had beefed up its own production.

In 19th century Québec, seedlings were grown from seed imported from the U.S., France, England and Russia. Fruit growing was a family affair; most family-owned orchards contained about 40 trees of varying varieties. In 1875, 25,000 bushels of apples were harvested in Québec from about 21,000 apple trees. Most of this crop ended up in Montreal, and still today, most Québec apples are destined for markets along the St. Lawrence River.

Apples were introduced to Manitoba in 1874 using stock from Ontario and Russia. The harsh prairie climate discouraged growers, however, in the 20th century, breeders at the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Department of Agriculture research farm at Morden, Manitoba, developed some hardy varieties.

Tree fruits were introduced to B.C. by the early settlers with seed that they carried with them from Fort Vancouver as they explored the interior. By the 1850s there were plantings of small orchards in the Fraser Valley. A fellow named Thomas G. Earl established the first orchard at Lytton. Cold winters forced Earl out of business, but other growers, including an Oblate missionary named Father Pandosy, had discovered the okanagan Valley, an area boasting a warmer, although much drier, climate. Pandosy planted his first trees where the City of Kelowna now stands. Dry soil proved a barrier to production until growers rigged pumps and open flumes to direct water from lakes and creeks into the Valley.

Historical records in Ontario indicate that apples were propagated in the Niagara region as early as 1790. By 1880, 84 apple varieties were in production in Ontario, but the granddaddy of Ontario apples, the McIntosh, had yet to be discovered…

The first McIntosh orchard was started in 1811 in the heart of Dundas County in Ottawa Canada when United Empire Loyalist John McIntosh bought the Dundela farm and discovered 20 apple trees in the woods.

He transplanted them into a garden next to his log shanty, but all the trees, save one, had died by 1830. Forty years later, his son Allan used the seedlings to plant a red apple nursery where the original tree survived, bearing fruit until 1906.
Today, every tree growing McIntosh apples descended directly from John McIntosh’s orchard.

Purchasing and storing apples 
For best quality, buy apples at the height of their season:

Late July through August–Gala, Gravenstein
Mid August through September–Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Fuji
Late October through November–Granny Smith, McIntosh
Year-Round–Red Delicious, Newtown Pippin, Rome Beauty

The best apples to buy out of season are Fuji, Granny Smith and Rome Beauty, as these hold especially well.

Don;t forget to order Chef K’s latest e-cookbook, Chill N Grill just $8.00 send me an e-mail at chefk@chefk.com and we’ll let you know how to get it.

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