The air is crisp, the leaves are gorgeous, the orchard fruits are ripening and many root vegetables are beginning to sweeten in their snug earthen wraps. Mother Nature, in her inimitable and immutable manner, seems to have autumn in apple pie order. Having said that, the apple, more than any other fruit, has spawned many of our day to day maxims. An apple a day…,Golden apples of the sun…, An apple polisher…, Forbidden fruit…, Upset cart…, Apple blossom time…, The apple of my eye…., Apples and oranges…, As American as apple pie…., One bad apple…, Adam’s apple…., a gift to the teacher…, are fragments and phrases embedded in our cultural assumptions.
The apple tree, its legends, myths and tall tales are likewise woven throughout the folklore of many cultures. We must share and trade off with the folklore of many others: Arabs, Bretons, Chinese, English, Germans, Greeks, Irish, Kazakhstani, Norse, Romans and Scandinavians. The mere volume of references is daunting. It was, however surprising to find that the apple’s reputation as the fruit of the temptation in Paradise is biblically unfounded. Apparently, some careless storyteller of old committed possible slander against this pomaceous relative of the rose. However, the young woman in Song of Solomon does ask for the comfort of apples. Then there was William Tell who was willing to risk his son to prove his archery. We can hardly ignore the poisonous apples of the wicked Queen, stepmother of Sleeping Beauty. What could be more American though than the tale of Johnny Appleseed and his cross country planting spree? Nor is it possible to forget Apple Annie’s shiny, miraculous apples in A Pocket Full of Miracles.
Speaking of legends, this nomadic fruit is thought by the most recent studies to have originated in the foothills of Tien Shan in Kazakhstan. How appropriate is it that a Kazakhstani folktale tells of a young student entrusted with gold to buy seeds for a great garden. The student’s compassion compelled him to use the gold to free miserably treated exotic birds instead. The grateful birds dug and planted an exquisite garden with a beautiful apple orchard. Every single apple variety can be traced to the great granddame apples of this region.
A tremendous amount of time is given to the mighty, for delicious reasons, apple pie. Nonetheless, we could readily turn a focused eye on the apple cake, which may have nearly as many variations as the pie. For the crust-wary, it is an easy way to put a delightful dessert on the table. This week we are offering a very simple Apple Cake which looks like a variation on Apple Sharlotka. Just for perspective, the most difficult part is slicing the apples. Of course there are many other apple recipes on our website, including: Apple Soup, Hungarian Style, Apple Cheddar Cheese Pie, Apple Maple Bread Pudding, Chicken Normandy and Kohlrabi, Apple and Mint Salad. Take a clicking browse through the website, you’ll find many interesting ways to use our market’s produce.