As garlic wards off vampires, so is the effect of apples on doctors. At least that is the lesson taught to us as children. Is there any truth to it? None of the doctors I spoke to would give me a straight answer.
Apples: the Wonderfruit
Legend has it that an apple helped Sir Isaac Newton invent gravity when it leapt from an overhanging tree branch and struck him in the noggin to jumpstart his imagination. If not for that crisp little ball of sugar, we would all be floating around in space. Not many other fruits have made such important contributions to science. Where were pears when Einstein was developing the A-bomb? Why was it a key and not a banana that Benjamin Franklin tied to his kite when he was inventing electricity? In all fairness, it is not the job of fruit to further technological progress, which is why we must pay special respect to the apple. It has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Variety is the Spice of Life
There are many different kinds of apples, each serving a unique purpose. Some are meant for pies, others prefer to be slathered in caramel and dipped in crushed peanuts, and still, others beg to be pulverized into sauce. Some are so good that they can be eaten right off of the tree, and though the legend doesn’t specify, I suspect it was this type that collaborated with Newton. Apples have names like “Granny Smith” and “Red Delicious”, and they vary in size, texture, and sweetness.
Because of the high sugar content, some doctors (Dracula-types, I assume) tell diabetics and obese people to steer clear of the crimson globes. What they don’t tell you is that apples can sometimes be a great source of protein—just leave the worms in. Taste-wise I don’t recommend this; especially if you’re using the apples in pies or other baked goods.
Comparing Apples to Oranges
The phrase “like comparing apples to oranges” is a metaphor used to describe an unfair comparison between two things. This makes me wonder what oranges are so afraid of. Which fruit would actually win in a head-to-head match-up? Let’s look at the tale of the tape.
One medium-sized apple vs. one medium-sized orange (types not specified)
Calories per serving: apple—95; orange—69
Sugars (g): apple—19; orange—12
Dietary Fiber (g): apple—4.4; orange—3.1
What the stats don’t tell you is that, sure, orange juice starts out sweet, but it doesn’t last. After several months in a fridge, an open container of orange juice becomes so sour and acidic that it threatens to turn your lips into a permanent pucker. Meanwhile, apple juice just gets better with age. I know a guy who used to work at a Just-A-Buck store in the mall back in high school. They had generic jugs of apple juice on the shelves for what seemed like years. One day, a guy came in and bought one, took it home and drank it. The next day, he came back and bought their entire inventory. It turns out the apple juice had fermented. That lucky bastard got gallons of naturally-occurring booze for just a dollar a bottle!
Checkmate, oranges. Good game. Better luck next time.
There was a guy in olden times who loved apples so much that he roamed the countryside planting apple seeds. He was a lot like Jesus in that he loved to preach about God and didn’t wear shoes. The major difference was that, instead of a crown of thorns, ole’ Johnny wore a tin pot on his head. The pot came in handy for putting out fires and cooking mush. I’m not exactly sure what “mush” is, but I’m guessing it involves apples.
There’s nothing an apple can’t do, and when it comes to taste, there’s no sweeter fruit in all the world. Some fruits may have more vitamin C or potassium, but if you want to keep the doctor away, you’ll want to arm yourself with an apple—I guess because they can be thrown like rocks. The truth is, it’s not about taste or nutrition or contributions to science. If Johnny Appleseed taught us anything, it’s that the most important thing is tradition, and apples are as American as chocolate chip cookies.
Rating: 4/5 Stars