Apple is one of the most widely cultivated fruits in the world.
Researchers established that this worldwide famous fruit originated in western Asia approximately 7500 years ago. Today, in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Xinjang, China, wild apple trees grow and bear fruit which taste much different to those that people int eh west eat.
Most of what is commercially available have been bred fro size, texture, colour, ripening (summer, autumn and winter time) and sweetness.
Yet there are still breeders trying to cultivate more apple species to tempt consumers. Apple trees grow best in temperate and subtropical climates. Tropical climates yield inedible apples.
The first apple tree in North America was planted in 1625 near Boston, and today this popular fruit grows coast to coast,
In Canada Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia are the largest and best producers.
While Europeans like Rose of Caldaro, Jonathan, Rennet, Calvilla, Abundance, Granny Smith, and Stayman in North America Golden delicious, Red delicious, Stark crimson delicious, Empire, Cortland, McIntosh, Spy are much in demand. Ambrosia, and excellent apple variety was bred in British Columbia and may still become popular. It takes approximately ten years to commercialize a new fruit or hybrid.
Groceries like to feature only a few of the famous varieties to ensure quick turnover and save space. In any grocery store today, you will be lucky to find more than four different varieties of apple. This is a shame.
Different apples must be used for different purposes – Northern spy is a fine apple for pies, McIntosh or Red Delicious are good for out of hand eating, Ambrosia is good for flaming, Empire for baking, Gala is suitable for cooking and out of hand eating.
Although there are more than 7000 apple varieties, more are being created, but they are called “club varieties” which are proprietary brands, strictly controlled by licensing, and must be grown and marketed by members of the club.
Honey crisp, Red prince, Jonagold, pink lady, Jazz are some of the “club variety” apples you may want to try, if you are an apple fan.
Apples can be sliced and dried, sliced and preserved in granulated sugar. In fact, Romans quartered apples and froze them in cold mountainous regions for winter eating.
China is the biggest apple producing country (35 percent), followed by the U S A, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Italy and India. World apple crop in 2005 was 55 million metric tons.
Layered apple parfait
Yield: Four portions
500 ml rose wine
500 ml apple juice
250 ml granulated sugar
4 star anise
3 slices ginger, mashed
5 cm. cinnamon stick
4 Jonagold apples , peeled, cored, and quartered
250 ml mascarpone cheese
250 ml whipping cream
250 ml crushed amaretti
125 ml toasted slivered almonds
Combine the first six ingredients in a pot large enough to accommodate all apples in one layer.
Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Cook for two minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add apples and press to immerse all. Poach for 15 – 20 minutes until apples are soft.
Remove apples heat and cool. Bring the liquid in pan to a boil and reduce by half. It should take approximately 15 minutes return apples to pot and coat all.
Beat cream to soft peaks. Combine mascarpone with three tbsp of the liquid from the pot. Stir half the cream into mascarpone.
Layer amaretti cookies, mascarpone cream and two pieces of apple in a parfait glass and top with remaining whipped cream.