National Apple Month is observed throughout the month of October across the nation. It is a month-long dedication to this top-tier fruit and we’re all for it. From caramel apples and apple picking to Halloween renditions of the poison apple and apple pies on Thanksgiving, the apple is the prime fruit to celebrate to mark the middle of fall.
History of National Apple Month
Apples have been around for nearly 10,000 years. Not only are they a common fruit to consume, but apples have also been highly involved in cultural contexts. Originating from the Malus sieversii species in the mountains of Kazakhstan, the earliest apples were wild and pretty unpleasant to consume. These were very different from the delicious modern domesticated apples — the Malus domestica — that we know today.
Through domestication and globalization, over time, apple varieties became more civilized and better for consumption — so much so that they have been eaten as dessert in China for more than 2,000 years!
As apples traveled along the Silk Route and eventually made their way over the world, apple cultivations were on the rise. With an emphasis on the fruit’s size, color, firmness, and acidity, grafting was used widely to conduct optimal breeding. The cultivars — cultivated apples — were originally stored in frostproof cellars by farmers. However, as apples became one of the leading fruits of the multibillion-dollar industry, advancements were made in their storage. In the 1960s, the U.S. used the first-ever controlled atmosphere storage facility designed for apples.
Not only have apples been integral to the food industry, but they have also been a central character in several cultural contexts. This hasn’t all been positive though. Literary texts around the 16th century started to mention the apple as the Forbidden Fruit that Adam and Eve ate. Famous painters of the time hopped onto this rumor as they showed Adam and Eve resting under apple trees. Even Disney played a part in the apple’s bad rap with the Poisoned Apple in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
That being said, being an apple also has its pros. It is considered the Fruit of Knowledge, it is essential for a Thanksgiving dessert spread and it is arguably the star of fall (sorry, pumpkin). There is no better time to celebrate it than in the month of October — National Apple Month.
National Apple Month timeline
The wild Malus sieversii is discovered.
Civilized soft apples are used as dessert apples in China.
John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, introduces apple trees to large parts of the U.S.
National Apple Week is born and observed across the nation, which later becomes National Apple Month.
National Apple Month FAQs
When is National Apple Day?
National Apple Day is celebrated every year on October 21.
Does America have a National Apple?
No, but the gala apple is the most commonly grown apple according to the U.S. Apple Association.
What is the oldest type of apple?
The annurca apple from South Italy is the oldest type.
How to Celebrate National Apple Month
Go apple picking
If you’re lucky enough to be around an apple orchard, plan an apple-picking visit with friends and family and make a fun day out of it!
Have an apple cook-off
Invite your friends and unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay. From pies to salads to candies, apples are a very versatile fruit.
Plant an apple tree
This National Apple Month, give the world (and yourself) the best gift of all — more apples!
5 Fun Facts About Apples That You Didn’t Know
It IS an exact science
The science of growing apples is known as pomology.
There is a fruit-flower crossover
Apples (like several other fruits such as peaches) are members of the rose family.
It defeats OJ
Apple juice is one of the most popular breakfast juices in the U.S.
They don’t sink
Apples are made up of 25% air, resulting in them being able to float on water.
Apple phobia is real
Apple phobia is known as Malusdomesticaphobia — derived from its scientific name, Malus domestica.
Why We Love Apples
They are good for health
Popularly known to keep the doctor away, apples are nutritious and healthy. They have 0 grams of fat, sodium, or cholesterol and are known to aid in cancer prevention as well.
They are better for the environment
Consuming more fresh produce such as apples instead of processed food has a substantially smaller environmental impact and can reduce our overall carbon footprint.
There are too many to choose from
With over 7,500 different types of apples around the world, there is something for everyone!
National Apple Month dates