The infamous fall fruit, the apple, originated in Kazakhstan, more specifically the Tien Shan mountain range millions of years ago. The apple was first harvested in Jamestown by settlers in 1607. The cultivation process started by planting the trimmings and seeds that came from Europe. The variety, unfortunately, had trouble growing in the New World, in turn producing very bitter apples. The settlers took their sour apples and created cider. Cider became a popular choice of beverage in England after the Norman conquest in 1066. The Norman conquest introduced several apple varieties from France to England. Due to the lack of cleanliness in the New World, the settlers did not drink very much water; instead, they would drink a glass of cider with their meals. Cider was a precious thing to have during this time. During one case, cider produced from an apple orchard of 2,500 trees was worth more than 15,000 pounds of tobacco.
One of the founding fathers of the United States is also responsible for the Fuji Apple. Thomas Jefferson received a cutting, which later cultivated into the “Ralls Genet” variety in a Virginian nursery, in the 1790s. Which was then cross-bred with the Red Delicious variety, essentially creating what is now the most popular apple variety, the Fuji.
Apples were once the most commonly eaten fruit in the United States. The average person will consume approximately 28 pounds of apples in their lifetime and 14 pounds of juice and cider. The United States tails China in growing the most apples and grows just about 200 different apple varieties. Over 322,000 acres of land, spread across 32 different states, are used to produce apples in the U.S. by about 7,500 different apple producers.