October is National Apple Month
October is National Apple Month! National Apple Month is the only national, generic apple promotion in the United States. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it was expanded to the entire month of October.
Apples not only taste great but they also provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that help to protect from chronic diseases. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we eat more fruits and veggies than any other food group − for adults, that´s 3½ to 6½ cups (7 to 13 servings) daily for better health. At least 2 of those 3½ to 6½ cups of fruits and veggies should be fruit. One cup of apples equals: 1 small apple, ½ large apple, 1 cup sliced raw or cooked apples, ½ cup of dried apples, 1 cup of 100% apple juice or cider, and 1 cup of applesauce. So consider packing apples, or delicious apple products like juice and applesauce, for your family during car trips, beach/pool trips, picnics, summer camp lunches, and plane trips.
Some popular varieties include:
- Macintosh. This old, well-known variety was discovered as a chance seedling by John McIntosh in 1811. Its deep-red finish sometimes carries a green blush. Juicy, tangy, tart McIntosh has a tender, white flesh. It is best used for snacking and applesauce, but some people enjoy its tart flavor in pies as well. This apple is typically available from September through May.
- Fuji. Originally developed in Japan in the late 1930s and named after the famous Mt. Fuji, U.S.-grown Fuji's began appearing in markets in the 1980s. Fuji is a cross between Ralls Janet and Red Delicious. This variety´s popularity is skyrocketing, thanks to its sweet flavor and firmness. Fuji apples are bi-colored, typically striped with yellow and red. They are available year round, beginning in September.
- Red Delicious. The most widely recognized of all U.S. apple varieties originated in Iowa in the 1870s. This sweet, crispy, juicy apple varies in color from striped red to solid midnight red. Western Red Delicious are elongated in shape, with pronounced “feet.” Eastern-grown Delicious are more round. This apple is best eaten fresh or in salads
- Gala. This variety, a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious, originated in New Zealand. The Royal Gala strain was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, who deemed it her favorite during a visit to New Zealand. It was brought to the United States in the early 1970s and is now one of the country’s most popular apples. Crisp, juicy, and very sweet, Gala is ideal for snacking. Galas can vary in color, from cream to red- and yellow-striped. U.S.-grown Galas are harvested beginning in mid-July and are typically available year round.
- Braeburn. This apple originated in New Zealand in the early 1950s. It was a chance seedling, with Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith as possible parents. Now grown in the United States, Braeburn is a multipurpose apple good for all types of apple uses. Its color varies from orange to red over a yellow background. A crisp, juicy apple, the Braeburn has a rich, spicy-sweet flavor. U.S. Braeburns are available beginning in October through July.
- Honeycrisp. This honey of an apple has a honeyed, mild flavor and a crispness deemed explosive. Honeycrisp’s skin is a distinctive mottled red over a yellow background, with coarse flesh. This apple is good for snacking, salads and sauce-making and stores well. Supplies are limited but growing with harvest beginning in September