An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
All of us have grown up reading this proverb. And it makes perfect sense since apples are nutrient-dense fruits that hold many health benefits for humans. Whether you consume them raw, extract their juice, or ferment them to make their vinegar, they’ll only add to your health.
However, how much do you know about these fruits, apart from their health benefits? In an attempt to brush up your knowledge on apples, we’re here with lots of astonishing facts about Apples that you had no idea about.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Apples have been on Earth much longer than humans
Did you know that in the history of the Earth, apples are much, much older than humans? Yes, you read that right.
The oldest traces of these fruits dates back all the way to 9 million years ago, while the earliest discovered fossils of primitive humans are not older than 300,000 years. Doesn’t that just boggle your mind?!
2. Apples come in three different colors
Which color comes to mind when you hear the term apples? We’re sure 9 out of 10 people will say red. And indeed, the majority of apples cultivated around the world are red; but the green and yellow varieties of these fruits exist as well.
3. Apples originated in Central Asia
The apples that are commonly found in every part of the world today weren’t always available globally. These fruits originated from Central Asia, where the natives found them growing in the wild around 750,000 years ago.
4. The Americans have been eating apples for no longer than four centuries
While Asians and Europeans have enjoyed apples for a long, long time, their history in the Americas is still relatively recent. It was in the 1600s that the Spanish explorers first brought apples to South America, from where they steadily spread throughout the Americas.
5. There are over 7,500 different varieties of apples
Being one of the oldest fruits on the planet, apples are bound to have some diversity. You’ll be surprised to know that over 7,500 different recognized varieties are grown throughout the world. The United States itself produced 2,500 different varieties of apples!
6. Apple trees can even live to be a hundred years old!
It seems that just like apples themselves, their trees are also hardy and can withstand a lot. While the average lifespan of apple trees ranges between 50-80 years, many of these are known to cross a century when well-cared for.
In fact, the Old Apple Tree of Vancouver, Washington, which was supposedly the oldest apple tree in all of the Pacific Northwest, fell in 2020 in its 194th year. If it had survived just six more years, it’d be two centuries old. Imagine that!
7. The phrase apple of my eye was first used in the 9th century
The phrase apple of my eye is used so often that we’re sure you must all be familiar with it already. Just in case you aren’t, it is used for someone who is cherished above all.
But why apples? What’s the association between apples and eyes? The answer to it lies in history itself.
The phrase first appeared in the 9th century in an Old English translation of the Latin treatise Cura Pastoralis. And it is because the Romans believed the pupil of our eyes to resemble an apple that they used the fruit in the idiom.
8. Apples are members of the rose family
If you were asked to point out one similarity between apples and roses, what would you say? Their color, right? Well, you’d be surprised to know that the two share something far more important than their color: their family.
Both apples and roses belong to the same Rosacea family. And if you’re wondering what fruit is doing in the family of a flowering plant, we’ll tell you that apples aren’t the only fruit in the Rosacea family. Other fruits like almonds, apricots, peaches, and plums are relatives of the rose, too.
9. Apple juice was once used as an antidepressant
Although the recognition of depression as a clinical disease is relatively recent in the history of mankind, the illness has been around for centuries. Do you know how people dealt with it before modern medicine came around? They used apple juice as an antidepressant.
Yes, we know what we’re saying. Apple juice was indeed quite popularly used as an antidepressant back in the 16th and 17th centuries. But did it really help? Yes!
You might not know this, but apples are a rich source of flavonoids, which have both antioxidant and antidepressant activities. For this reason, not only apple juice but even raw apples can help curb depression in men to some extent in the absence of medicine.
10. Green apples are healthier than red ones
Have you wondered why green apples are more expensive than red ones despite both of them being apples? Well, it is because while these fruits only appear different in color from the outside, on the inside, they have many differences.
Nutritionally, green apples are superior to their red cousins. They contain double the amount of Vitamin A you find in red apples, are richer in protein, fibers, iron, and Vitamin K, and have lesser sugar and carbs. That’s why they’re healthier for us than red apples and, thus, more expensive.
11. Granny Smith Apples is the official name of Green Apples
While most of us refer to green apples as green or sour apples, they have a real name, too, with which most of us are unfamiliar. These apples are officially called the Granny Smith Apples and have been named after Mary Ann Smith, the woman who discovered them.
12. Crab Apples are the only apple variety endemic to North America
As we’ve mentioned above, over 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States. However, another noteworthy fact is that none of these varieties are endemic to the country, except for one: Crab Apples.
Crap apples are the only apple variety that is endemic to both the US as well as North America and can be cultivated in the majority of the continent.
13. New York City is also called the big apple
You must’ve commonly heard New York City is referred to as the big apple both in reality and on TV. But do you know why the phrase is used for the city or who coined it? If you don’t, we’d be happy to tell you.
The phrase big apple was popularized back in the 1920s when John J. Fitz Gerald, a sportswriter in the New York Morning Telegraph newspaper, used it to address the city.
14. A bunch of apples is called Bushel
Many of you might be using bunch as a collective noun for apples without thinking twice. But do you know that there’s a special term designed for it? Bushel. So, the next time you need to say something about multiple apples, use a bushel of apples instead to sound both correct and knowledgeable!
15. Apples can float on water
Would you say apples are lightweight fruits? So much so that they can float on water? While it might seem difficult for you to believe it, apples can really float in water (check for yourself at home if you like).
But the real question here is how; how do these fruits float on water? Well, it is because 1-4th of the total volume of these fruits is made up of air, making them lesser dense than water and, thus, float on it.
16. Apple is the national fruit of four different countries!
All countries have a national fruit, just like blueberries are the national fruit of the United States. However, in the case of apples, their popularity runs so high among the people that not one or two but a total of four countries have declared them as their national fruits: Germany, Argentina, Austria, and Poland.
17. China is the leading apple-producing country in the world
Apples are grown in almost every second country in the world. But when it comes to the leading producers of apples globally, not all of them can rank on the top, can they? So, who is the leading apple-producing country in the world? China. This Asian country produces the highest number of apples in the world annually and is closely followed by the United States, Turkey, and Poland.
18. Making a gallon of apple cider vinegar requires 36 apples!
It is no secret that apple cider vinegar (or the fermented juice of crushed apples) uses apples as its primary ingredient. But do you know how many of them are used in the process? Well, if you’re making a gallon of this vinegar, it’ll take you about 36 apples.
19. This apple variety is called Winter Banana, and here’s why:
Winter Banana is a high-quality apple variety that originated in Indiana in the 1870s. This apple variety has a smooth, pale yellow outer skin with a pinkish blush at places, while the insides are ivory-colored and have a rather coarse texture.
The main appeal of these apples lies in their tropical taste, which has an essence of a banana or pineapple at its peak maturity.
20. Apples are the most-consumed fruit in the United States
If you look up on the internet the most-consumed fruit in the world, you’ll find bananas as the answer. However, upon narrowing down the scope to the most-consumed fruit of the country, the name of apples will pop up.
In the statistics of 2021, it was found that every American eats 16.18 (roughly 49 apples) pounds of apples every year!
21. Washington is the leading producer of apples in the USA
Since we just established that apples are the most-consumed fruits in the United States, you must also be curious about where all these apples come from. Well, you’ll be happy to know that 36 out of the 50 states grow apples, with Washington taking the lead in apple production.
Other states that follow it closely are New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California.
22. Apple blossoms are the state flower of Michigan
As we just discussed, Michigan is one of the leading apple-producing states in the country. Apples are the most largely-grown fruits in the state, with its apple orchards covering over 47,000 acres of land and containing over 8 million apple trees. It is because of this close association with apples that Michigan declared the flowers of apple blossom as their state flower.
23. 1 out of every 4 apples cultivated in the United States is exported
Being the second-largest producer of apples in the world, the United States grows more apples than the citizens can eat and are, therefore, invested in their export business as well. According to statistics, the apple export business in the country is so large that 1 out of every 4 apples that grow here is exported.
24. Here are the top 10 apple varieties you can find in the United States:
You already know that the number of apple varieties grown in the country is 2,500. But not all of them are sought after, are they? Following are some of the best apple varieties you can find here:
Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Empire, Pink Lady, McIntosh, and Rome.
25. October 21st is celebrated as International Apple Day
Apples hold a great deal of importance to humans, be it for their history, widespread nature, nutritional value, or the large number of byproducts that we use. Therefore, two different days of the year are designated to celebrate the existence of this invaluable fruit.
The first one is International Apple Day, that’s celebrated on October 21st; the second, more peculiar one is the International Eat an Apply Day, that’s celebrated on the third Saturday of every September. This year, it falls on September 17th.
The bottom line
As we end this article, we hope that you’ve grown wiser in its course. This information will surely be useful in your everyday life, especially when you’re eating an apple. You can even impress your friends at the office or during a barbeque by dropping some of these juicy tidbits of info on them. Of course, these facts about apples aren’t for kids only; anyone can learn something interesting from them.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully, you will be able to use this resource to help you when teaching your kids about apples! Do you have any interesting Apple-related facts to share with us? If so, feel free to write us an email, and we’ll include that in this list.
Have a nice day!