From its symbolic association with temptation, immortality, magic and sexuality, to its association with the Garden of Eden, the apple is the pinnacle example of the erotic nature of fruit. Hidden beneath its firm, supple skin and sweet flesh lies its poison seeded center that takes the shape of the magical pentacle when cut transversely. It is the fruit that has been both feared and revered over the ages. 

In the United States, there are over 100 commercial varieties decorating the produce isles with unending hues of reds, greens and yellows. The flavors are just as diverse, ranging from sweet to very tart.

Known Varieties: 

over 7,500

When in season: 
How to select: 

Color is an inconsistent way to determine ripeness because of the range in color between varieties, as well as the ranges in color between the same varieties grown in different regions, vary greatly. If harvesting from the tree, ripe apples are the ones that have fallen to the ground as a result of gravity or the ones that can be easily plucked from the tree branch. If selecting from a supermarket, the apple's flavor should be consistent with the traits of its variety. The skin should be shiny, firm and free of bruises. If you can dent it with your thumb it is probably over-ripe.

How to eat: 

Americans eat on average 46.1 pounds of apples each year. Unfortunately, only about half of this is in the form of fresh fruit. It is best eaten as it comes from the tree, bitten into directly, skin and all. It is also nice diced and added to salads. Leave the center core; the seeds are poisonous.

Native to: 

Caucasus Mountains of West Asia

Serving Size: 
One Fruit
Nutritional Highlights: 

Apples are a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.

Caloric Ratio %