It’s National Apple Month for all of October!
It’s a whole month for eating and promoting apples. Trying new apples. Experimenting with apple recipes.
Apple Month grew out of National Apple Week, created in 1904 by the US Apple Association.
According to the Association this month’s goal is to “increase apple industry sales through a fall retail display contest, food-service promotional contest, to recognize outstanding retailers for their apple merchandising, and to develop strong relations with retail, food-service and Apple industry members.”
Well we don’t know about all that, but we are looking forward to learning more about different kinds of apples, tasting them, and trying new recipes.
Won’t you join us?
Around the world, people grow about 7,500 different apple varieties.
Commercial apple growers in the US grow more than 100 different varieties of apple. But for the most part, us sticks-in-the-mud stick to 15 popular varieties. You can read about them (and a few others) on the US Apple Association website.
People have been eating apples for all of recorded history. The Garden of Eden aside, apples were popular food during the Persian Empire, then during the time of the Greeks, and on to the Romans.
Using apples in cooking has probably existed just as long. Or at least almost as long. A recipe for Diced Pork and Matian Apples dates to the third century, but it may have been created two centuries earlier.
As people migrated around the world, they brought apples with them. Including to America, where William Blackstone planted the first orchard in America around the year 1625.
Johnny Appleseed’s real name was John Chapman. He traveled around parts in the Midwest (mostly the Ohio and Indiana area) planting apple trees and helping farmers plant and care for their own orchards.
Once upon a time instead of throwing rice at a wedding people threw apples. Ouch!
In a somewhat less potentially painful tradition, newly married couples in the 7th century BC would sometimes share an apple to symbolize a desire for a fruitful union.
About 25% of Americans name apple as their favorite kind of pie.
Which apples are best for eating or baking?
Well, the short (and not very helpful!) answer is: Whichever ones you like best!
Some apples are considered more suitable for pies because they hold their shape better than others. Others are sweet and crisp and perfect for snacking.
But you don’t have to stick with the “rules.”
If you like the flavor of the raw apple, it’ll probably taste fantastic to you in a pie, too. And if you don’t like tart apples, then you probably won’t much care for a pie made with them. At least not without adding lots of sugar.
So what are your favorite uses for some of the more common apples:
Do you have other favorites? Share!
Scroll down for some ideas on celebrating this crisp and tasty fall holiday
Eat apples! Learn about apples. And cook with apples.
If you have kids (or even if you don’t), head over to the Activities for Kids section on the US Apple Association website. You’ll find links to a couple of coloring books, the legend of Johnny Appleseed, and more.
Consider an apple-related book for your young reader:
Go apple picking. Not sure where there’s an orchard near you? Check out one of these sites:
Try some of these recipes from the US Apple Association:
Can’t forget the drinks! (also from the US Apple Association):
Some other recipes from around the web you might enjoy:
Of course, there’s a cookbook for every reason … including apples!
How will you be celebrating National Apple Month this year?