Bite Off These 12 Outlandish Apple Facts
Apples may not be the oldest of fruits that humans have enjoyed, but it has become one of the most prolific. Interestingly enough, it is somewhat rare for an apple tree grown from seed to be any good for snacking. Sometimes that happens, sure, but all the apples we eat today (purchased at the local grocer) are clones of a single “diamond in the rough” apple variety. The Honeycrisp? Mmm. Yes, this is a clone. Gala? Clone. You get the idea.
Here are a bushel more interesting apple facts to much on:
1. The only apple variety that is entirely red in color is the infamous Red Delicious. It first appeared in Peru, Iowa in 1874 and was originally named the Hawkeye.
Yes, all subsequent Red Delicious apples are cloned from this one Iowa tree.
2. Apples were once used as a form of anesthesia during childbirth in the 19th century, or to be more specific, were used to make a mild brandy from the fermented juice.
3. Apples were a popular currency in ancient Rome, with one apple buying you a handful of delightful nuts or two eggs.
A pretty good deal.
4. The term "Adam's apple" comes from the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
Legend has it that the forbidden fruit was an apple, and the piece that got stuck in Adam's throat was the "Adam's apple" we know today.
5. There are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples in the world, and 2,500 of them are grown in the United States alone.
6. Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.
This is why grocery stores store and transport apples at 30-40°F until they are ready to be sold.
7. The first apple orchard in the United States was planted by the pilgrims in Boston, MA in the year of our lord 1625.
They were also the first to plan pears in North America.
8. Apples float because they are 25% air (or close to it depending on the variety).
This makes apple an ideal snack for waterfowl or anyone wanting sink-resistant snacks.
9. The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
While these tart tiny apples are often too sour to eat, they can be used for jams, jellies and even hard ciders (that’s alcohol, and the dominant use for these little devils).
10. The seeds of an apple contain a protective coating of cyanide, a lethal poison.
However, it is not enough to cause harm to humans (or most big mammals) if eaten, but you shouldn't eat handfuls.
11. In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage.
Catching it meant she accepted the proposal.
12. Apples are more effective at waking you up in the morning than caffeine.
This is because apples contain an impressive balance of fiber, sugar and complex carbohydrates. All which contribute to the morning energy, but without the inevitable crash associated with caffeine.