Where are apples from?
Originally apples are from Central Asia, they are all descendants of the wild apple tree (Malus sieversii). Apples, Pears and Quinces were all propagated around eastern Turkey and northwards. They have been used as a food source since at least neolithic times. Because of their long history they feature frequently in Roman, Greek and Norse mythology, often representing eternal youth or immortality. Represented in tales as 'food of the gods' they were often presented to humans for heroic deeds.
There are more than 7500 cultivars of apples worldwide, bred for cider making, cooking and of course, eating! The genome of the Golden Delicious apple was decoded in 2010, confirming its ancestry and identifying 57000 genes (humans only have 30000!) The first recording of grafting of an apple cultivar was in Greece around 300 B.C.
Most of Real Foods' apples come from the UK or France. If you'd like to know the source of a specific apple simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let you know.
What do apples look like?
Depends on which cultivar the apple is from. Popular, modern cultivars concentrate on sweet flavours and high yield/low disease susceptibility. However, older cultivars are still grown, they tend to be oddly shapped, russeted and are often more acidic or tart. Some are cultivated specifically for cooking (they tend to be larger and more astringent). Cider making apples are rarely eaten fresh as they are so astringent. However despite variations, apples are usually roundish with a stalk and range from red through yellow to green.
And on the inside of an apple?
Cyanide! Truly, there's a tiny bit of cyanide in apple pips. However, no need to start planning anyone's funeral just yet, in order to have deadly amounts you'd need to chew each seed open to release the amygdalin and then eat several pints of them! Apple pips have hard, durable shells that allow them to pass through your (and other animals) digestive systems without damage, thus propagating the next wave of apple trees.
What do apples do?
Fructose and antioxidant polyphenols in apples improve your metabolic balance and have slow release sugars.
Apples are high in pectin (a fibre) which helps regulate BOTH constipation and diarrhoea. They are good for protecting bones, containing the flavonoid phlorizin in their skin, which has been linked to preventing bone loss associated with menopause.
Apples are also great for reducing unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol from the pectin and antioxidant polyphenols. Apples are a traditional remedy for joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatism. Apples contain high levels of malic and tartaric acid which aid digestion.
Green apples contain more malic acid and may act as a liver and gall-bladder cleanser, helping to soften gallstones. Red apples contain more antioxidants than most of the others (it's that rich colour) and yellow apples have excellent levels of pectin.
Apples are a good source of potassium (160mg/apple average), folic acid, vitamin C (22mg per 100mg of flesh) and vitamin A (340IU). They are high in calcium (9.5mg/apple average) and have trace amounts of B vitamins including niacin.
Most of an apple's fibre and quercetin (a powerful antioxidant) are in the skin, buying organic ensures no pestcide residues or petroleum based waxes.
There are studies showing a reduction in asthmatic conditions through eating apples, the studies suggest that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of apples help protect against lung cancer also.
So now you know all about apples!
Obviously we think one of the best things to do with them is eat them raw! Here's our range of fresh, organic apples.
We're very proud of our apple range, buying them in from all over the UK to make sure our customers can try all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours along with some old favourites. We only buy organic, so you won't need to worry about removing strange waxy coatings or scrubbing them within an inch of their lives. Simply give it a quick wash (it was in the orchard until recently!) and keep that doctor away!
There are also Air Dried Apple Crisps available here for a healthy treat. Or organic dried apple rings for a satisfying snack or for baking.
Here's our range of Apple Juice and Apple Cordials, useful for sweetening in recipes and a refreshing drink.
Apple Purée and sauces are popular with convalescents, kids and people wanting a simply, sweet dessert. Find Apple Purées here.
Apple supplements can be found here.
Try one of our apple recipes, possibly the most comforting crumble in the world is here, as are some smoothie recipes along with a raw apple cake recipe. Yum!