Gravenstein, Coe's Golden Drop, Cox's Orange Pippin: the names sound like something from Tolkien or the ingredients of a magic potion. But as befits their magical appellations, apples have transfixed and beguiled humans for thousands of years. Erika Janik explores the importance of a fruit, born in the mountains of Kazakhstan, which has became a favourite almost everywhere. Apples have played their part in starting the Trojan War, the discovery of gravity and the settling of America, and you can even use them to predict the future. Apples also make for good drinking, and Janik relates the history of cider in Europe and America. From the Garden of Eden and the wicked queen's apple in the story of Snow White to Johnny Appleseed and the Apple computer, apples have been a universal source of sustenance, health and legend from ancient times to the present. Food and history lovers will devour this surprising history of one of the world's most loved and prolific fruits.
Erika Janik is a freelance writer and a producer at Wisconsin Public Radio. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Midwest Living, Wisconsin Trails and Wisconsin Magazine of History and Mental Floss. She's also the author of A Short History of Wisconsin (2010), Odd Wisconsin (2007) and Madison: A History of a Model City (2010).