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National Apple Day falls on October 21 and is a day dedicated entirely to celebrating all things apple: apple pie, apple sauce, apple crisp… The list goes on and on. This holiday reminds us to appreciate the apple in its myriad forms. On October 21st, pick out your favorite variety and celebrate with apple lovers across the world.
History of National Apple Day
Studies have shown that the earliest known wild apple trees cropped up in regions of central Asia anywhere between 10 and 20 million years ago. Though initially their flavor skewed toward sour, apple trees would evolve to produce sweeter fruits. This development would make them a more attractive food for wild animals and thereby assist with their diffusion throughout the continent. The apple would eventually spread to Europe as early as the 17th century BC; some historians believe it was during this time that the Roman populus cultivated and developed the apple into the larger, sweeter, more edible fruits that we are familiar with today.
Since then, the apple has found its way to the forefront of parts of American consciousness and identity (the iconic story of Johnny Appleseed, the phrase “as American as apple pie,” and the nickname “The Big Apple” all come to mind). In fact, though, the United States plays a small part in the worldwide history of the apple; the only native variety to the country is the crabapple, often dismissed as too bitter to enjoy naturally.
Furthermore, though also observed in America, National Apple Day actually has its roots in Europe. It was created by the U.K.-based charity organization Common Ground on October 21st of 1990 in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of diversity in different communities. Though the initial meaning of the holiday has been somewhat forgotten, apple-lovers everywhere still enthusiastically use the holiday as a chance to rave about their love for the more than 7,500 different varieties of apple grown across the globe!
National Apple Day timeline
Colonists arrive at Jamestown with European apple seedlings and begin to plant and harvest apples.
John Eastman (a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed) travels throughout the Midwest in an effort to plant numerous apple trees and educate farmers on proper apple crop care
The British Pomological Association began testing new varieties of apples to determine suitability for English farmers.
Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth; tubes of applesauce serve as part of his interstellar diet.
Apple growers in the United States began using controlled atmosphere facilities that maintain the freshness of apples until they are brought to market.
Newly discovered scientific facts made the apple breeding process considerably faster and more accurate.
Worldwide apple production reaches a staggering total of 83,139,326 metric tonnes
National Apple Day FAQs
What day is National Apple Day?
Apple Day is a holiday which is celebrated on October 21st and is a celebration of all things concerning apples and orchards.
When did National Apple Day start?
The first-ever National Apple Day was on October 21st of 1990. The day was founded by the organization Common Ground. It has since been celebrated every year thereafter on October 21st.
What is the most popular kind of apple?
The gala apple is now America’s most-grown apple, followed by the Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp, according to the US Apple Association.
Which country produces the most apples?
According to the USDA, China is the topmost producer of apple with producing 44 million tonnes produced annually. China, the USA and Poland are the top three countries in the production of apples.
National Apple Day Activities
Eat an Apple
The clear and obvious choice. Make today the day to keep the doctor away and enjoy a nice, crisp, juicy apple.
Plant an Apple Tree
Do some preparation for next year’s National Apple Day and plant an apple tree in your yard! Your future self will thank you.
Share the Apple Love
Not everyone may be aware of National Apple Day; help spread the seeds of awareness by sharing apples with friends, family, strangers… Everyone loves a good apple!
5 Apple Types You Need To Try
The Granny Smith
Named after Maria Ann Smith, this green apple originated in Australia.
A red apple developed by the Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
A hybrid of two American varieties of apples, it was developed by researchers in Fujisaki, Japan.
Discovered by chance in an orchard in Oregon in 1987.
The Ginger Gold
Introduced to market in the 1980s, it is one the 15 most popular apples in the world.
Why We Love National Apple Day
Eating apples is healthy
Apples are filled with antioxidants. Eating them can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. They can also help you lose weight!
Apples are Versatile
You can bake apples into a pie, use it in a turnover, smother it with caramel, puree it into applesauce… The possibilities are limitless!
Apples Have a Huge Family Tree
The apple has the greatest amount of variety among all other species of fruit. Daybreak Fuji, Candy Crisp, Sansa, Zestar, Shamrock… These are but a few fantastic names among literally thousands of apple variants!
National Apple Day dates