Apples are the most popular fruit in the world, and they are either grown or traded on every continent. Dessert apples – the kind you can eat straight from the tree, unlike ‘cooking apples’ – are the mainstay of many a British garden, and right now they are being harvested and stored (and eaten) in every county. There are also some interesting stories surrounding them – let’s look at a few.
■ Apples are odd. Each apple seed, or ‘pip’, produces offspring that is a distinct individual, quite unlike its parents. If you grew 100 apple trees from the pips of the same tree, the new apple trees would all be different. Without grafting – invented by the Chinese more than 3,000 years ago – your sweet and juicy ‘Gala’ or ‘Cox’s’ would simply not exist.