Everyone of a certain age is familiar with the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Do you know where that came from? Did your mother permit you to eat all the apples you wanted? Did you go around and steal apples from neighbors trees, as I did?
Oh, probably, even if you don't admit it. We never had snacks growing up. Maybe if we were visiting someone who treated us now and then, but regularly, snacking was not in our vocabulary. We were expected to be at every meal, and we ate whatever my mother served, mostly because we were hungry little peeps. In between meals in the fall, we foraged for apples from trees easily assessable by short children.
"An apple a day" probably came from a phrase coined in 1913 based on a Pembrokeshire proverb that originated in 1866. Notes and Queries magazine was the first to publish the original quote: "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
So, the burning question, "is it true?" Well, maybe and maybe not, like most medical news you hear. One day it's good for you, the next day it isn't.
Apples are good for you, eaten right off the tree. They contain vitamins and fiber and fulfill one of the five servings of daily fruits and vegetables.
I love crabapples and the oldest varieties you can find. There's something about that wild taste that I find very appealing (pardon the pun).
There are many different varieties of apples on the market. Some are better for eating, some are better for baking, and some are better left in the store. Red Delicious, you know who I am talking about.
Baking apples should be tart to offset the amount of sugar in a pie or crisp. They also hold up to baking and don't become mush in the oven.
Suitable apples for baking include:
• Granny Smith
Some apples can be eaten fresh, and they hold up to baking. I love a crisp tart apple to eat and, at one time, made a point of running to the supermarket every noon and eating an apple. I have since become lax in my healthy habit.
• Golden Delicious
• Pink Lady
Of course, everyone loves Honeycrisp. Developed in Minnesota, Honeycrisp is a cultivated variety of apple developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station's Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Designated in 1974 with the MN 1711 test designation, patented in 1988, and released in 1991, the Honeycrisp, once slated to be discarded, has rapidly become a prized commercial commodity, as its sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it an ideal apple for eating raw."...The apple wasn't bred to grow, store or ship well. It was bred for taste: crisp, with balanced sweetness and acidity. (SOURCE: Wikipedia).
A little pricey out of season, Apple Crisp are the best eating apples on the market. Okay, in my opinion.
This is the apple season. Be sure and get out there and eat a few, bake a pie or freeze some for winter. Fall is apple season. While my friend, Diane, maintains it hasn't frosted hard enough yet to pick them off the trees, they are still readily available at your farmers market and in the supermarket. So, enjoy an apple or two today.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.