In the beginning was the apple, and
it is hard to imagine what our history would have been had Eve not offered
that first fruit. The apple has shaped us historically, and informed us
socially. Where would science be had a wayward cherry fallen near Isaac
Newton? Would we celebrate the legend of William Tell in theater and opera
if his arrow had been aimed at a cabbage? Worse yet, what would replace
Mom's apple pie at holiday celebrations if Johnny Appleseed had had a
penchant for rutabagas? Is bobbing for rutabagas even conceivable?
"Comfort me with apples, for
I am sick of love," sings the Song of Solomon (2:4). Apples and the
temptations of love have been associated since Eve. In Greek myth it is
the goddess Atalanta who succumbs to the lure of apples. Atalanta had
been warned against marriage, and swore she'd never wed. She was swift
of foot and so sure that no man could outrun her, that she promised to
marry any man who could beat her in a race. When she ran, her skin flushed,
her garments fluttered in the wind. So beautiful was Atalanta, that one
suitor begged help of Venus to win the race. Venus, who surely knew about
love, gathered three golden apples which she gave to the lovestruck suitor.
One by one, he tossed the three apples as he and Atalanta ran. Tempted,
she stopped three times to pick up the apples and he won both the race
and the fair goddess.
Apples grew wild in Asia and today
China is the world's leading producer of apples, followed by the United
States. Greeks and Romans both cultivated apples, and their seeds were
a gift from the old world to the new. Despite their reputation as tempters,
we adore apples. There are so many varieties that we can satisfy the desire
for sweet or tart, crisp or soft. We juice them, bake them, turn them
into sauce. Best of all we eat them just as they are.
Apples and Health
Apples are consistently credited with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma and type 2 diabetes. They contain large amounts of powerful antioxidants which help protect against cell-damaging free radicals. They are high in fiber and vitamin C and low in calories - about 80 - 90 clories depending on size in an apple. And they taste good. Remember what your grandma said, "An apple a day keeps the docotr away."
these apple recipes: