Crisp, sweet, and delicious, bushels of apples are a true symbol that autumn has arrived. Whether you stroll through the apple orchard and pick some yourself, or scoop a few pecks up from the store, Americans just can’t get enough. By volume, we eat more apples than any other fruit. But for all the love we show to apples, how much do you actually know about our favorite fall fruit?
As you’re sipping on that warm glass of apple cider and snacking on some apples slices, consider these 25 fun facts about apples:
1. Archaeologists have found evidence that people have been eating apples since 6,500B.C.
2. The science of growing apples is called pomology.
3. There are more than 7,500 apple varieties in the world — about 2,500 varieties grown in the United States. About 100 of those are sold commercially. Apples are the second-most valuable fruit grown in the U.S. (oranges being the first).
4. Apples are grown in all 50 states, but they’re only grown commercially in 36 states. The top producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia.
5. Top producing counties in the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland, and Italy.
6. Most apples in the world are still picked by hand.
7. Americans eat more apples per capita than any other fruit. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average American eats about 16 pounds of fresh apples and 28 pounds of processed apples like juice, cider, or sauce, for a total of about 44 pounds per person per year.
8. Apples are available in grocery stores all year long thanks to the global market, but the Northern Hemisphere typically considers as early as July and as late as November apple season. September and October are peak months.
9. If you’ve ever wondered why apples float it’s because they’re 25 percent air, giving us the ability to bob for apples in a barrel of water.
10. The common autumn party game bobbing for apples started as a Celtic New Year’s tradition for trying to determine ones potential future mate.
11. Apples ripen up to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.
12. Apple trees take at least four to five years to start producing fruit. Some take as many as 10 years.
13. The top ten varieties produced in the United States are Gala, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Mcintosh, Rome, Cripps Pink, and Empire.
14. An average tree produces 840 pounds of fruit.
15. It takes about 36 apples to make one gallon of apple cider.
16. One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
17. Apples are a member of the rose family of plants, which also includes pears, peaches, cherries, and plums.
18. When John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, blasted off on his initial space flight, he carried with him pureed applesauce in squeezable tubes.
19. According to Guinness World Records, the largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison in Rochester, N.Y. on October 16, 1976. The prize-winning peel was 172 feet 4 inches long.
20. The first American apple orchard was planted around 1625 by William Blackstone on Boston’s Beacon Hill.
21. Apple juice was one of the earliest prescribed antidepressants.
22. Only sour apple trees were native to America before the European settlers brought with with them their favorites.
23. The pale, lime green Lady apple is one of the oldest varieties of apple still available today. It was originally documented in early Rome (approximately 700 B.C.). It was first referenced as the ‘Lady apple’ in 1628 during the French Renaissance.
24. An apple has about 80 calories. They are fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free and also are an excellent source of fiber.
25. After nearly a decade with Red Delicious as the apple darling of the United States, Gala apples are now the nation’s favorite.
Also see, crispy apple chip recipe.
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