Saturday, September 5, 2015

Seedy Saturday- Apples

Happy Saturday everyone!  This week I am going to share some information on a delicious fruit that is a favourite of many.
Apples have been present in societies as far back as the Romans, who developed a large number of apple varieties and then brought them to Europe, including Britain.  During Medieval times in Europe, apples were used for cider and cooking, but by the 14th century, Italians enjoyed apples at fancy banquets, along with other fruits, on display in tall-stemmed, glass containers. 
Apples were brought to North America by European settlers in the 1600s and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston.  There was one species of apple native to North America and that is the crab apple, which was once called the "common apple".  At first, apples were grown here mostly for cider, but soon were used for baking with some favourites including: pies, dumplings, fritters and pancakes.  There were 17 000 kinds of apples grown in North America in the 1800s and there were different kinds for each season, such as in summer for baking and fresh-eating, in the fall for making cider and to store in root cellars for the winter.  There are some really neat stories involving apples within a number of mythologies as well.
In Norse (Viking) mythology, providing apples to the gods would give that person eternal youthfulness.  In Greek mythology, the apple was considered to be sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, thus throwing an apple at someone was a symbol of a declaration of love for them.  If someone caught the apple, it was to symbolically show one's acceptance of that love.  Lastly, many of us are aware of apples appearing in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit.  
Enjoy your week to come!
Catie Welch

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