The fruit of knowledge.
The more than 7,000 cultivars of apple known today result from a long and complicated history in which multiple wild species were crossed into the fruit’s lineage as it travelled from China to Europe along the Silk Road.
The apple is one of the most popular and healthy fruits. It grows on trees in mostly temperate regions around the world and is used in a variety of food items (e.g. apple pies, shakes and cakes). The top three apple-producing countries are China, the USA and Poland.
Today, farmers and gardeners in the USA can request and grow some 2,500 varieties. But not all varieties are tasty or unique. As consumer tastes change, and demand for greater diversity affects the market, farmers are stepping out of their comfort zone and growing varieties that they did not grow in the past. According to a recent Time.com article, the Gala, which originated in New Zealand in the 1930s, has recently dethroned the Red Delicious, what was the USA’s top apple for at least five decades. Other current top sellers include the Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Fuji.