It is a fruit of the genus Malus (about 25 species) belonging to the family Rosaceae, the most widely cultivated fruit tree. The apple is one of the fleshy fruits in which the ripened ovary and surrounding tissue both become fleshy and edible. The apple flower of most varieties requires cross pollination for fertilisation and a desirable fruit set by 2% to 3% bloom. The apple at harvest though varying widely in shape, size, colour and acidity depending upon the environmental character is nevertheless usually roundish 50 to 100 millimetres (1 to 4 inches) in diameter and some shade of red or yellowish in colour.
There are thousand varieties of apples but it can be divided into three main classes viz. cider varieties, cooking varieties and dessert varieties. They differ widely but tend to emphasize colour, size, aroma, smoothness and perhaps crispness and tang. Many are relatively high in sugar, only mildly acidic and very low in tannin. The apple thrives in favourable localities from approximately 30° to 80° latitude north and south.
Apples provide vitamin A and C, are very high in carbohydrates and are an excellent source of cellulose. In Europe, a larger fraction of the crop goes cider, wine and brandy. Of the total production, one fourth goes for cider.
When eaten raw, the apple is used as common food or as dessert at meals. It can be baked, roasted, stewed or boiled or made into marmalades, jellies, tarts, pies, puddings, cakes, sauces and apple butter.
Apple-jack is the name given in the United States to apple-brandy. In France, brandy distilled from apples is a popular drink; it is called Calvados. It received its name from the Department of Calvados in Normandy, a centre of French apple production. Apple-jack is sold after it has aged from 2 to 5 years. Calvados usually is aged for 10 years.
There is an age-old proverb: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'. It means that if one eats one apple a day, he will remain free from all diseases. Such is the food value of apples. It is valuable in cases of anaemia, high fever, general debility, lassitude, arthritis, pimples, bad blood and low vitality.
Benefit and uses of Apple
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