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In antiquity the apple was a symbol of love and fertility. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered it an aphrodisiac. The apple also stood for tradition and sovereignty. As the orb, or “apple of the kingdom”, it was placed in the sovereign’s left hand during the coronation ceremony. The apple also plays a role in many traditions, legends and tales. It is a popular Christmas gift and decoration, and everyone will be familiar with the poisoned apple that “Snow White” bit into. At the time when William Tell was shooting at an apple, there were already over 1,000 different varieties in Europe. Today the apple is the favourite fruit in Germany. We each eat, on average, around 40kg of apples per year. [localise for your Market]
Ingredients and nutritional values
Apples are low in calories and are therefore good for a trim figure. They contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, as well as fibre to promote good digestion. It’s especially worth mentioning the high quantity of vitamin C and potassium. While vitamin C is important for protecting the body’s cells and power of resistance, potassium is critical in maintaining water balance and muscle and nerve metabolism. Phytonutrients are thought to prevent cardiovascular diseases, strengthen the immune system and may also reduce the risk of certain cancers. Apples are therefore a good choice for one of your “5 a day”. 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily – this is what the experts recommend to best protect your health.
based on 150g uncooked weight, or one medium-sized apple
|Energy:||81 kcal/260 kJ|
|Fibre:||3.0g (10% of the recommended guideline amount of 30g)|
|Vitamin C:||18mg (18%)*|
Source: The large GU Nutritional Information table, 2006/07. [Update the above table and reference for your Market] The recommended daily intake amounts correspond to the reference values for nutrient intake (2000) for an adult. *of the daily recommended intake Many of the healthy substances in apples are found in or directly under the skin. It’s therefore best to wash apples thoroughly and then to eat them without peeling them.
Out of over 100 varieties of apples around 20 have a significant market share. The favourite varieties in Germany are: Jonagold, Elstar, Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Gloster. Some apple varieties are available for sale immediately after harvesting. Others need to be stored for a while first, in order to develop the best flavour and aroma. The peak season for domestic apple growing lasts from October to March. Around half of the apples consumed in Germany are grown domestically. The rest are imported, mainly from Italy, France, the Netherlands and the southern hemisphere.
Many apple varieties can be stored for several months in a dark cellar, a frost-free garage or a cool attic. The fruits should be laid out next to each other on shelves or in fruit crates and must not touch each other. Placing a screen over the shelf of apples holds the moisture in and therefore improves storage conditions. Examples of apple varieties that are well-suited to being stored include Berlepsch, Boskoop, Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Elstar, Gala and Golden Delicious. Varieties that do not store well include Alkmene, Gravensteiner, James Grieve and Klarapfel. Alternatively, you can also store apples in sealable plastic pouches in a cool, dark room. The atmosphere in the pouch prevents the apples from drying out, slows down the ripening and ageing processes and thereby extends their shelf life. The pouches should be perforated with pinholes to ventilate them. Apples emit the ripening gas ethylene as they ripen. This gas makes other fruit and vegetables spoil more quickly, so apples should always be stored separately.
Cooking with apples
Apples are good when used in various salads, e.g. fruit salad or herring salad. They are also used for all manner of apple strudels and cakes. Its firm, crunchy flesh, intense sweet flavour and refreshing juiciness inspire a whole range of preparation methods. The most popular cooking apple is definitely the Boskoop apple. All apple varieties suitable for cooking can also be made into purée, juice or jelly. Stewed apples make a tasty accompaniment to game dishes. The peeled and cored apples should only stew for around 10 to 12 minutes so that they don’t fall apart. When preparing raw apples, to prevent them going brown sprinkle them with a little lemon juice.
Particular characteristics and nutritional highlights
The apple skin contains an especially high amount of pectin, a form of fibre that regulates digestion. Pectin can help with diarrhoea and can also lower cholesterol levels. Nutritionists and health professionals recommend eating 30g of fibre per day. A medium-sized apple provides 10 percent of the recommended amount.