by Frank Browning
Publisher: North Point Press (September 1998)
available online from Books-For-Cooks
An engaging look at the world's most popular fruit. "I was raised surrounded by apples." So begins Frank Browning's account of his lifelong fascination with the fruit his parents grew in their orchard in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky.
In Apples he charmingly demonstrates why this mysterious fruit continues to tempt and delight us.
Throughout Western memory, the apple has been the fruit of trouble, immortality, and temptation: Paris and the Trojan War; Nordic Loki and the apples of eternal life; and, of course, that infamous couple in the Garden. Browning leads us on a beguiling tour through the primal myths of the world's most popular fruit and then explains that the first apples appeared in Kazakhstan on the slopes of the Heavenly Mountains. He visits the apple germ-plasm repository in Geneva, New York, and describes the powerful effects of genetic engineering on the apples of the future. In Wenatchee, Washington, world capital of apple growing, he meets Mr. Granny Smith and learns about the apple's niche in the global marketplace, before setting off to sample Calvados from the pot stiffs of Normandy and cider from Somerset.
For the more practically inclined, Browning includes a selective listing of apple varieties, basic instructions for planting a backyard orchard, and a selection of beloved apple recipes from around the world.
- Perseverance, Pests, and Perversity 13
- In Search of the Primeval Apple Forest 36
- The Pursuit of Paradise 63
- Genetic Promiscuity, Biotech, and Suicide 89
- Reds and Grannies and Seek-No-Further 121
- Cider: Lifeblood of the Heathen Apple 149
- Pomona's Prospect 185
- Twenty (or so) Prize Apples 213
- APPENDIX II Back-Yard Orchards 221
- APPENDIX III A Few Good Recipes from Around the World
- References 237