10 Things You Didn't Know About Apples
Apples do not grow out “true to type,” meaning a tree grown from a Northern Spy seed will not resemble its parent. Grafting is the only way to replicate a variety.
In 1896, John Scribner made 10,124 apple barrels, which sold at 35 cents each. A deep freeze in 1938 of 50 degrees below zero killed the apple trees and ended his barrel-making business at Scribner’s Mill, near Bridgton.
The apples best suited for cider and brandy are called “spitters” because they are bitter to the taste.
In Latin, the word malum means both “apple” and “evil.” Although there is no direct mention in the Bible, this is why the forbidden fruit in the story of Adam and Eve is thought to be an apple.
In Colonial times, the apple was referred to as a winter banana or a melt-in-the-mouth.
Of the 28,000 varieties of apples grown in America, grocery stores only carry about six to 10 varieties.
In the 1800s, planting 50 apple trees in an orchard qualified land as a homestead. John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) not only planted apple seeds, he acquired land, planted orchards, and then sold them.
A crabapple is any apple two inches or less in diameter.
Until Prohibition, an apple grown in America was more likely to be made into cider than eaten. Where water could contain dangerous bacteria, cider was safe.
By 1850, Ellsworth, Maine, was home to 12 commercial orchards and by 1880 there were 84. “Cash on the barrelhead” for apples exported as far as England was the order of the day until the 1930s.
extra tidbit: An apple slice or two can soften brown sugar, hasten the time it takes to ripen avocados and tomatoes, keep cakes fresh, and absorb salt from a sauce or soup that has too much.