“I throw the apple to you, and if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me; but if your thoughts are what I pray they are not, even then take it and consider how short lived is beauty.”
——Plato, Epigram VII
In this month of February, in the light of Valentine’s day, do you not think that this is a lovely thing to remember about Apples?
As a matter of fact, everyone is well aware of the story of Adam and Eve and the Original Sin, where Apple plays a very crucial role. Whereas, not many know that in Greek Mythology, people associate apple with love.
Myth about Apples
For instance, Eris, the Greek Goddess of Discord was displeased because she was not among the invited for the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. It is said that to retaliate, she threw a golden apple etched Kalliste (also known as Kallisti, “For the most beautiful one”) to the wedding party. Now, three of the Goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite wanted the Apple and Paris of Troy had to choose the receiver. Hera and Athena gave bribe to Paris, but Aphrodite lured him with Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful woman. Henceforth, Paris obviously presented the apple to Aphrodite. For this reason, in ancient Greece, “to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one’s love; and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one’s acceptance of that love”.
There is also mention of Apples in Norse Mythology? Do you know about it?In 13th Century, Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandichistorian, poet, and politician also wrote a prose and named it Edda, where he mentions that Goddess Iounn (referred to as the wife of the skaldic god Bragi and keeper of Apples) gave apples to gods so that they could retain eternal youthfulness.
History and Origin of Apples
Apple is sweet and edible, found on trees and even though you can date its origin back to Central Asia, the tree is in fact grown worldwide. 1000 years back, it was available in Asia and Europe and the European Colonists brought it back to North America. However, there are the Crab Apples, also known as common apples, which belong to North America. According to history, Alexander the Great was widely acknowledged for having found the dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan, during 328 BCE.
Now, in the modern days Apple is still revered and not for its myth but because it is a fruit that is said to be among the world’s healthiest foods.
Facts about Apples
According to recent studies, the best food to fight against the population of bacteria in lower digestive tract is apples. At the same time, in the US, 30% of the 2-18 year olds who consumed whole fresh apples, were found to be less obese than those who did not eat any. Meanwhile, the fresh fruit also provided antioxidants and is full of fibre. It is also known to impart cardiovascular benefits and reduce the level of LDL cholesterol.
Meanwhile, the nutrition value details of apples are as below:
For a fresh medium sized Apple of 182grams, the value is 95 calorie, 16% fibre and 11% vitamin C.
See here the Nutritional Value per 100gm
- Sugar- 10.39gm
- Dietary Fibre- 2.4gm
- Fat- 0.17gm
- Protein- 0.26gm
- Calcium- 6mg
- Vitamin C- 6%
Types of Apples
Now, there are various types of Apples. According to the UK national fruit collection database, there are various alternative names for different apples like dessert apples, which is sweet and good to eat fresh. Then there are cooking apples and tart astringent apples, used to prepare cider known as cider apple. Sweet, subacid apples were more popular in Europe and North America, while those in Asia and mainly the sub-continents of India preferred the sweet apples. At the same time, some of the names for apples seen in the super markets today include Golden Apple, Red Apple, Green Apple, Fuji, Granny Smith, Ambrosia, McIntosh and so on.
Uses of Apples
Now, a perfect way to have an apple is fresh and raw. However, there are other ways to prepare it as well. Coat apple with hot toffee and you have the apple toffee or you can even coat apples with sugar syrup and get candy apples. Same ways, you can also make caramel apples by coating the apples in caramel sauce. For the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah, people also have apples with honey, more as a representation for a sweet new year ahead. Normally, you either bake or stew apples and use it to make some sweet meat dishes. Other desserts or food items made out of apples include the pies, apple crisp, apple crumble, cake, pudding and so on. You can even make jam or jelly, juice, apple butter or applesauce and so on.