There’s nothing quite so comforting as the scent and taste of warm, spiced apples on a cold fall day. Whether in a pie, a sauce, or contained in a mug as delicious organic tea, these scent and flavor sensations have become synonymous with comfort for much of the world’s northern populations.
As proven by their long-term mythical associations – like Eve and the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, for instance, generally associated in Western Thought with a round, red apple – apples have been gracing humanity’s tables in many forms for thousands upon thousands of years.
Iron- and stone-age hunter gatherers already knew about this sweet treat, including preservation methods such as slicing and sun-drying. Several thousand years ago, mankind learned the secret behind growing apple strains that had proved reliably delicious and that they wanted to keep around: grafting.
Believe it or not, the apples we know and love today are actually rarities – the much more common variety is the well-known but unloved crabapple (a member of the wild rose family), which is what any apple seed from a grocery store fruit is likely to grow into. In order to keep strains true, cultivators must harvest buds from mature trees and graft them onto the cut stumps of regular crabapple stock, will they will attach and produce the apple of the chosen bud.
Since this technology was discovered, apples have become a mainstay of human eating. They are associated with feasts, as in the apple that goes in the mouth of the roast boar. Shakespeare mentions them as a delicacy, though he calls them by the more prosaic name of “pippins.” And Aphrodite won the golden apple from Paris in a beauty contest whose only entrants were goddesses … thereby awarding him Helen of Troy and starting one of the most storied and epic battles of all time: the Trojan War.
In more recent history, Johnny Appleseed captured the imagination of Americans with tales of spreading apples all over the “New” World. Even this, however, has more myth than truth to it: in reality Johnny Appleseed was not a purveyor of the sweet fruit that results from grafted apple varieties. He was actually distributing regular seeds, hence his name, which grew only into crabapples.
Because grafted apples were a product of the “Old” World, much of what was available in the New was the native crabapple, the only variety to have naturally arisen on the American continent. And crabapples, though they may not be terribly good for eating, are easily pressed into cider, which can then be fermented. Apples, therefore, provided the beginnings of much of the alcohol on the early frontier. With Johnny’s help, that is.
If you like the taste, smell, and comfort of warm apple cider, then try our delicious blend that contains great flavor with the added benefits of all-natural tea. Our Canadian tea company is proud to offer you a drink that will take the edge off the chill air and recall the myths and legends of times gone by.
Photo Credit: Abhijit Tembhekar from Mumbai, India