“Malus domestica” is the name of one the most popular and cultivated tree fruit in the world. The tree has a medium size and it is deciduous. It reaches 5-12 m tall and has a dense crown. The leaves are simple, oval shaped with approximate dimensions of 5–12 cm long and 3–6 cm broad. Flowers and budding of the leaves are produced simultaneously in spring.
Firstly, the apple tree is originated in Asia, especially in Kazakhstan, in a region called “Almaty” (which means “reach of the apples”). It is said that Alexander the Great is the one responsible for bringing the first apples in Greece in the year 300 BC. In America they were brought later, in the 1600’s.
There are more than 7500 known cultivars in the world. They are used for preparing not only lots of delicious foods, but also apple juice, cider, cider kin, vinegar, and pectin.
After being considered in the Greek Mythology as a symbol for love (gift of Aphrodite, the goddess of love) and in the Bible as the symbol for sin and promiscuousness, today apples are considered very important because of the health benefits they are responsible for.
As for commerce, China is leading successfully, followed by the United States and Turkey. From the amount of apples produced per year worldwide (55 million tones), China produces 40% of it.
The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is spread all over the world and it is not far from the truth. Apples are perfect hosts for vitamins C and B, antioxidants and very important phenol compounds. Due to these combinations apples may help in reducing the risk of colon prostate and lung cancer, in heart diseases and controlling cholesterol. It is advisable to wash the skin for removing any contaminants. Although apple pips taste a little bit bitter (because they contain traces of cyanide) the quantity is not enough to be harmful.