There is no evidence the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was an apple, but there is proof la pomme’s roots go to at least 6500 BC.
Apples are thought to have originated in the Caucasus region near the Russia–Georgia border. Alexander the Great, reportedly, ate apples in Asia Minor in 300 BC.
Europeans brought apple seedlings to the New World, and it is believed apple trees were cultivated near Boston as early as 1625.
United Empire Loyalist John McIntosh discovered 20 wild apple trees in the woods near his farm in the St. Lawrence Valley, south of Ottawa. He transplanted the trees and, although 19 trees died, his son eventually used McIntosh seedlings to plant a red apple nursery that first bore fruit in 1906. Every delicious sweet and sour crisp McIntosh apple is descended directly from McIntosh’s orchard.
There are approximately 7,000 known varieties of apples, but only a few are grown commercially. The biggest exporters are China, Chile, Italy and the United States.
Growers in Ontario produce 426,400 pounds annually—about 42 percent of all apples grown in Canada. The most northern apple production region in Ontario is Georgian Bay.
One medium apples contains about 80 calories and is a good source of fibre and Vitamin C. Eating an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. On average, apple contains more antioxidants, which can help to prevent cancer, than a large dose of Vitamin C. Researchers have also found apples can reduce tooth decay, protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, high cholesterol, gallstones, diarrhea and constipation, and cataracts.
McIntosh: This is perhaps the most popular variety. Growers are looking at newer strains that preserve its unique sweet and sour taste.
Empire: Dark red blush with a splash of yellow or green.
Crispin (formerly Mutsu): Large and greenish-yellow with an orange blush. Stores well.
Golden Delicious: Yellow or greenish-yellow; excellent for baking.
Fuji: Originally from Japan, this big reddish-pink apple is super sweet and stores well.
Cortland: Large and bright red. Stays white when cut.
Gala: Crisp and firm, with a yellow-orange background and a red blush.
Northern Spy: Preferred for baking and cider.
Source: Foodland Ontario
Nippy Apple Cheddar Soup
Ontario apples and cheddar cheese have always been a perfect match. Here’s a new twist, a steaming bowl of Apple Cheddar Soup, with just a hint of curry, it will surely hit the spot on a cool fall day.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
4 apples, peeled and chopped, (about 4 cups/1 L)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) finely minced ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) each of curry and dry mustard powder
2 cups (500 mL) each of chicken broth and apple cider
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) grated old cheddar
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, curry and mustard powder. Saute five to seven minutes until onion begins to soften.
Add broth and apple cider, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Using a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup (50 mL) cheddar cheese.
Apple And Carrot Snack Cake
This cake is a great lunch-box idea. You can skip the icing, if you wish. It’s moist, delicious; nutritious enough for breakfast and works well as a unique dessert.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1-2/3 cups (400 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
2 cooking Apples (such as Northern Spy or Empire, peeled, seeded and grated), about two cups (500 mL)
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded carrots (about two large)
1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, softened
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
In bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making two additions of dry ingredients and one of milk. Fold in apples and carrots.
Scrape into parchment paper-lined nine-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan. Bake in 350F (180C) oven until puffed and golden brown and cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about one hour. Let cool in pan on rack.
TIP: Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days. Or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to three weeks.)
In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth. Spread over top of cake.
Recipes from Foodland Ontario.