America’s Favorite Fruit, the Apple
The cultivation of the apple antedates history—remains of the fruit have been found in Switzerland’s prehistoric lake dwellings. Its early form was probably that of the common crab-apple of Europe and western Asia. Of its present varieties there are several thousand. The cultivated tree is at its prime when about fifty years old and will bear fruit for considerably more than a hundred years.
North America is the greatest apple country in the world. Washington, New York, Virginia and Arkansas are leading apple-producing states. In early New England days the fruit was chiefly valued for its cider product, but its uses are now widely diversified—for eating raw, cooked and preserved, and in the making of jams, jellies, and vinegars as well as, still, for cider. Because of its pectin content, vast quantities are employed in jam and jelly making. Lightly cooked as apple-sauce and consumed in moderate quantities, the apple is an exceptionally safe and wholesome fruit.