Ringing in tune with the fall season is the United States’ National Apple Month, which runs throughout the month of October. Apples have been a great fruit of the U.S.A. since the early 1600s, making it a staple in American culture. In 1603 Jamestown, settlers grew apples for one sole purpose: cider. The apples they produced then were small and tart, unlike the culinary ones we enjoy today as hand fruit. They simply used the apples for producing one of our longtime favorite beverages.
Alternately, apples are not the most purchased fruit in the United States. They come in at a close second behind bananas. Whether it’s through fresh apples or apple products, the average American consumes roughly 19 pounds per year. Apples are fat-free, low in calories and filled with vitamins, so the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away may actually be spot-on.
In honor of National Apple Month, these facts below should show some appreciation to the old-aged fruit. All statistics and facts are courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association.
1) Washington State tops the charts: 70 percent of apples produced in America come from the Evergreen state. The second largest producer of apples in the United States is New York, followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio and Idaho. Apples come from all over the United States and America’s take advantage of the fruitfulness.
2) The United States grows around 200 unique varieties of apples in 32 states, but the only native apple to North America is the crabapple. Once called common apples, the crabapple was first cited in Boston in 1625. Seeds brought over from Europe began to produce various types of apples in the 17th century, leaving the crabapple in the dust until cider’s recent revolution of the tart, little apple.
3) It takes an apple tree four to five years to produce its first fruit. Fortunately, once the tree begins to grow, there are voluptuous amounts of fruit that each tree bears. Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes weighing 42 pounds per box. These trees are slow, but steady producers.
4) It takes around 36 apples to produce one gallon of cider. Hello, apple-picking! This means that each glass of cider you drink is the equivalent of 2-3 apples. The doctor should be proud of all us cider lovers out there.
5) The top 10 varieties sold in the United States are Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Jazz. The most used apple for culinary purposes is the Red Delicious due to its richness in nature. In the top list of apple varieties produced, cider-friendly McIntosh, Rome and Empire apples also make the cut.