Historical facts about apples

Food historian Joanna Crosby reveals little-known facts about one of the most common fruits in history.

In the Christian religion, the apple is associated with the disobedience of Eve, She ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in connection with which God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. It is interesting that in none of the texts is the fruit defined as an apple – this is how the artists painted it.

Henry VII paid a high price for a special supply of apples, while Henry VIII had an orchard with various apple varieties. French gardeners were invited to take care of the garden. Catherine the Great was so fond of Golden Pippin apples that the fruits were brought wrapped in real silver paper to her palace. Queen Victoria was also a big fan – she especially liked baked apples. Her cunning gardener named Lane has named a variety of apples grown in the garden in his honor!

The 18th-century Italian traveler Caraciolli complained that the only fruit he ate in Britain was a baked apple. Baked, semi-dry apples are mentioned by Charles Dickens as a Christmas treat.

During the Victorian era, many of them were bred by gardeners and, despite hard work, new varieties were named after the owners of the land. Examples of such cultivars still surviving are Lady Henniker and Lord Burghley.

In 1854 the Secretary of the Association, Robert Hogg, was set up and set out his knowledge of the fruits of British Pomology in 1851. The beginning of his report on the importance of apples among all cultures is: “In temperate latitudes, there is no more ubiquitous, widely cultivated and respected fruit than the apple.”    

Leave a Reply