Smarter Sundays – Everything you need to know about apples

I love this video. It’s simple, clear, and provides a ton of information about something as ubiquitous as the apple.

Some highlights:

  • Almost all modern variations of apples are descendants of wild apples from Kazakhstan
  • Apple pie is old as dirt
  • Nuts are apples (sort of)
  • Apples from trees grown from seeds taste horrible

That last point is especially important. Because regularly-grown apples normally taste horrible, discovering a tree bearing tasty fruit is both rare and highly profitable. But even if one of these rare yummy trees is discovered, the lucky orchardist can’t just pop the seeds in the ground, stand back, and rake in the cash. Instead, the tree needs to be essentially cloned through grafting branches from the original tree onto a new one. This process – of grafting from the delicious tree onto another host – results in entire apple cultivars that can be traced back to a single lucky discovery.

Such is the case with one of the most famous and popular apple cultivars in Canada, if not North America – the McIntosh apple. I couldn’t find any statistics regarding how many McIntosh apples are produced in Canada annually, but anybody who has been to a grocery store up here knows it’s a shit ton. And yet, every single McIntosh apple in every single display throughout the world is descended from one tree that John McIntosh just happened to stumble upon in eastern Ontario in the early 19th century. This blows my mind. Sorry if you are now picking yours up off the ground.

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