The Wildcat Voice

Apples, Apples, APPLES Everywhere!

Ozias Covington, Staff Writer

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We all know of Granny Smith and Red Delicious, but not many people know that there are 7,500 different varieties of apples with around 2,500 apple types in America alone.

Kiku, a colorful apple, is crunchy and sweet with a firm and very juicy skin. It can be enjoyed as a snack, in homemade applesauce, or in a salad or grilled cheese quesadilla for a bit of sweetness. On the Sweet to Tart chart, Kiku is first due to its sweetness.

Another type of sweet apple would be Fiji, which was originally grown in Japan and popped up in 1962.This apple was crossed with the taste of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet and goes great in salads, baking, beverages, pies, and sauces.

The way farmers make these apples is by the process called cross-pollinating. It happens when a farmer hand picks two different types of apple trees’ blooms from the ‘father’ and puts it with the ‘mother’. Once the mother bloom turns into an apple it is seeded and its seeds are planted. The end result is a new type of apple.

Once the apple grows, the farmers can take it a step further. They take the seeds and plant them in a process called Cultivar. It means that they find the exact same copy of the plant. They then take the scion wood or branches and place it inside another tree, sprouting more scion wood. The scion branch gets new roots from a different cultivar. Finally the fusion makes a whole new apple tree with the desired qualities.

A less complicated reason for different apples is the climate of the specific area. Climate can affect the color, taste, and size of said apple. Farmer can change the taste of apples by changing the conditions in which it is grown.

But to truly make the apple theirs, they must name it. Once the apple has a name and is branded, the farmer is granted all rights to the apple and its clones.

Believe it or not, apples were first cultivated in Jamestown but none were eaten. They brought seeds from Europe and while the original apples planted were not all made for cultivation in the New World, their seeds began to produce new types of American apples. Many of these apples were still bitter but the apples were also used for a different propose: Cider. Soon after cider became very popular in England after the Norman conquest in 1066. After this, new apple varieties were introduced from France. The New World settlers brought their thirst for cider with them. Most colonists grew their own apples but because of sanitation problems, they often served a fermented cider at meals instead of water, including a diluted cider for their children.

Next time you are in the produce section at the grocery store branch out: try a new type of apple.  And appreciate the engineering that went into its creation.

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Apples, Apples, APPLES Everywhere!