All About Apples

Learn about how the characteristics of the apple are shaped by its methods of propagation: either through cross pollination or rootstock.

Photo by Pixabay/Oldiefan

There are more than 2,500 varieties of apple grown in the UK and more than 4,500 in the USA. Some have been cultivated for centuries – there is evidence, for example, in the Jordan Valley of apples dating back to 6,500 bc – while other types are relatively young. New varieties are being discovered and bred every year as global demand continues to grow.

The apple, or Malus domestica, is a member of the rose family. It is related closely not only to pears and quinces, but also plums, blackberries and even strawberries. It is widely accepted that apple trees originate from the forests of Kazakstan and that the Romans were largely responsible for the movement of trees around its Empire, creating popular demand for the fruit and cementing it as a mainstay of the diet throughout many regions of the world.

Everything from the apple blossom* to the fallen fruit can be used in cooking, making apples a hardy, versatile and delicious essential in the kitchen. Even smoking apple wood on the barbecue imparts a subtle sweet and fruity flavour to meat, fish and vegetables.

Apples come in many different shapes and sizes, flavours and textures. There are thousands of varieties across the world, each with distinctive characteristics that make it most suitable to be enjoyed in particular recipes.

Photo by Pixabay/kie-ker

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