Apples – Interesting Facts

The apple is the most popular fruit in Switzerland – approximately 60,000 tons of apples are bought and consumed each year. Even in paradise the apple was considered irresistible. The tree that Adam and Eve ate from, the tree of knowledge, was an apple tree. Most apples in the supermarket are domestically cultivated, but the apple is not originally a Swiss fruit. Apple trees originally grew in West and Central Asia, in the region that is now known as Kazakhstan, where the crunchy round fruit was already consumed 10,000 BC, before spreading to Europe via trade routes.

Food Facts Food Facts

Apples

Class

Apples

Calories

54 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

11.4g carbohydrates, 10.3g sugar, 2.1g fibre, 0.3g fat, 0.3g protein per 100 g

Season

August to May (for domestically grown fruit)

Storage

store at room temperature, in the fruit and vegetable drawer of the fridge or in the cellar

Shelf life

10 days to several months

Apples – A Distant Relative of the Rose

The apple tree is a stone fruit plant, botanically classed as part of the rose family. Its leaves are deciduous and its pink or white fragrant, five-petalled flowers bloom from the end of April to the end of May in Switzerland. The flower axis then develops into an apple over the course of summer. Most apples produced in Switzerland are from the canton of Thurgau, which is known for its fruit cultivation.

Apples – Storage

If you picked up some apples during the weekly shop and want to use them soon you can easily store them in a fruit bowl at room temperature. Other types of fruit, like banana, should be kept safely at a slight distance because apples emit ethylene as they ripen. This gas causes other fruit to ripen and mould quicker. Stone fruit lasts significantly longer in the fridge, or individually wrapped in paper and stored in a wooden box in the cellar.

Apples – Damp and Cold

Make sure that the apples you want to store don’t have any mould and aren’t lying on top of each other in the box, as dents can cause the fruit to mould quicker. Potatoes and apples should never be stored together, as the gas that they emit negatively affect how long both can keep. Ideal conditions for apples are 2 to 4°C in relatively high humidity. Under these conditions apples can stay fresh and juicy for months.

Apples – Preparation

Can’t store your apples for long periods of time and need to use them up fast? Even better! There are countless ways to bake or cook with apples. Aside from the classic apple cake, apple crumble has been growing in popularity for years. To make it, bake raw apple that is seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla and covered in a layer of flour, butter and sugar crumble in the oven. Crumbles are usually enjoyed as a warm dessert, either with vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream.

Apples – Dried in the Oven

Sugar and heat are ideal methods to keep apples from going off, either as apple sauce or jam. Used this way, apple tastes just as good alone as it does with other fruits, like currants for example. Alternatively, you can dry apples to preserve them. Pips removed and cut into thin slices, they can be dried using either a dehydrator, an oven or even simply air. Drying apples in the oven takes 4 to 5 hours at 60°C.

Apples – Delicious and Nutritious

Apples are low calorie, but thanks to their relatively high fructose content they still supply you with a lot of energy and provide a lasting feeling of satisfaction due to the fibre pectin. Apples are also rich in minerals and vitamins, giving rise to the popular saying: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Potassium is particularly prominent and supports muscle as well as nerve function. Some types of apple, like Braeburn apples, are rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system. Furthermore, apples contain polyphenols, secondary plant substances that have a positive effect on health. To really enjoy all the health benefits an apple has to offer consume it with peel – most of the nutrients are directly underneath it.

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