Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Apples; an introduction to their awesomeness

As the title suggests, I love apples, however, not all apples were created equally.
The apples we eat today are man-made cultivars; clones of their parents, churned out on machine-like trees. They are chosen for the shade and distribution of colour, their size and shape, yet not taste. When taste is not required when selecting apples, it does not bode well for the eater. Occasionally to make life better, a 'sport' appears. This is essentially a mutation, where a random new apple grows on an individual branch. An abomination no doubt, to our Jesus friends. This is how some of the new 'breeds' of apple appear, if, that this, they can grow it again successfully. Most apples are 'created' by combining existing cultivators together. Take the newly popular 'Pink Lady', or Cripps Pink as it is officially known. This wonderful example of an apple is a hybrid between 'Lady Williams' and 'Golden Delicious'. I dislike Golden 'Delicious', almost as much as I hate Gala. This suggests to me, that the 'Lady Williams' must be a fine apple indeed. Can I find one? No. It's on my to-do list.

Anyone who enjoys apples as much as I, may have noticed the recent deterioration of the 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith' varieties. Both previously delightful apples, now tarnished with the 'Delicious' brush. Having been so preoccupied with appearances, someone forgot to taste them. Now I find the Smiths are floury and the Braeburns bitter.

There is hope for the apple. There are now over 7,500 cultivars, some of which still taste good. The Galas, Smiths and the 'Delicious' duo are making way for the new, the aforementioned Pink Lady, the Jazz apple and the Honeycrunch. Fresh and fruity, these apples are a delight to behold.

And now follows some random facts about apples...

1) Apples were one of the earliest fruit trees to be domesticated, over 2,000 years ago, and is now know as 'Malus Domestica'.
2) Red 'Delicious' has an exceptionally long shelf life, and is often bought for decoration (which is probably why it tastes shit, although not a fact)
3) Most apple trees are grafted onto root stock, designated with M numbers e.g. M25. Grafting onto another trees roots, will determine the final shape and size of the mature apple tree.
4) The Granny Smith cutivator, was supposedly created by an old woman who would throw her food scraps out of the window. Two apple seeds combined in a chance seedling and created the tree, which was named after her. It is thought to be a mix of the Malus Domestica and the common crab apple, M. Sylvestris.
5)Not all apples are round! Common shape names include: oblate, oblique, oblong and ovate. 
6) Apple Day in the UK is celebrated yearly, on October 21st.
7) Stored correctly, apples can last for months; not that the supermarkets want us to know that.
9) Apples belong to the rose family and his plant family includes pears, plums, almonds and strawberries.
8) I'm eating an apple now.

Go on, eat an apple, you know you want to ;)

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