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Apples are still more various, yet rigidly retain their own species, and are highly useful in families, and ought to be more universally cultivated, excepting in the compactest cities. There is not a single family but might set a tree in some otherwise useless spot, which might serve the two fold use of shade and fruit; on which 12 or 14 kinds of fruit trees might easily be engrafted, and essentially preserve the orchard from the intrusion of boys, &c. which is too common in America. If the boy who thus planted a tree, and guarded and protected it in a useless corner, and carefully engrafted different fruits, was to be indulged free access into orchards, whilst the neglectful boy was prohibited -- how many millions of fruit trees would spring into growth -- and what a saving to the union. The nett saving would in time extinguish the public debt, and enrich our cookery.

No fruit is so universally popular as the apple. It is grown extensively for cider, but many sorts are cultivated for the table. The apple, uncooked, is less digestible than the pear; the degree of digestibility varying according to the firmness of its texture and flavour. Very wholesome and delicious jellies, marmalades, and sweetmeats are prepared from it. Entremets of apples are made in great variety. Apples, when peeled, cored, and well cooked, are a most grateful food for the dyspeptic.

This useful fruit is mentioned in Holy Writ; and Homer describes it as valuable in his time. It was brought from the East by the Romans, who held it in the highest estimation. Indeed, some of the citizens of the "Eternal city" distinguished certain favourite apples by their names. Thus the Manlians were called after Manlius, the Claudians after Claudius, and the Appians after Appius. Others were designated after the country whence they were brought; as the Sidonians, the Epirotes, and the Greeks. The best varieties are natives of Asia, and have, by grafting them upon others, been introduced into Europe. The crab, found in our hedges, is the only variety indigenous to Britain; therefore, for the introduction of other kinds we are, no doubt, indebted to the Romans. In the time of the Saxon heptarchy, both Devon and Somerset were distinguished as _the apple country_; and there are still existing in Herefordshire some trees said to have been planted in the time of William the Conqueror. From that time to this, the varieties of this precious fruit have gone on increasing, and are now said to number upwards of 1,500. It is peculiar to the temperate zone, being found neither in Lapland, nor within the tropics. The best baking apples for early use are the Colvilles; the best for autumn are the rennets and pearmains; and the best for winter and spring are russets. The best table, or eating apples, are the Margarets for early use; the Kentish codlin and summer pearmain for summer; and for autumn, winter, or spring, the Dowton, golden and other pippins, as the ribstone, with small russets. As a food, the apple cannot be considered to rank high, as more than the half of it consists of water, and the rest of its properties are not the most nourishing. It is, however, a useful adjunct to other kinds of food, and, when cooked, is esteemed as slightly laxative.

Uses: It is well known that this fruit forms a very important article of food, in the form of pies and puddings, and furnishes several delicacies, such as sauces, marmalades, and jellies, and is much esteemed as a dessert fruit. When flattened in the form of round cakes, and baked in ovens, they are called beefings; and large quantities are annually dried in the sun in America, as well as in Normandy, and stored for use during winter, when they may be stewed or made into pies. In a roasted state they are remarkably wholesome, and, it is said, strengthening to a weak stomach. In putrid and malignant fevers, when used with the juice of lemons and currants, they are considered highly efficacious.

In England: The most useful of all the British fruits is the apple, which is a native of Britain, and may be found in woods and hedges, in the form of the common wild crab, of which all our best apples are merely seminal varieties, produced by culture or particular circumstances. In most temperate climates it is very extensively cultivated, and in England, both as regards variety and quantity, it is excellent and abundant. Immense supplies are also imported from the United States and from France. The apples grown in the vicinity of New York are universally admitted to be the finest of any; but unless selected and packed with great care, they are apt to spoil before reaching England.

Constituents: All apples contain sugar, malic acid, or the acid of apples; mucilage, or gum; woody fibre, and water; together with some aroma, on which their peculiar flavour depends. The hard acid kinds are unwholesome if eaten raw; but by the process of cooking, a great deal of this acid is decomposed and converted into sugar. The sweet and mellow kinds form a valuable addition to the dessert. A great part of the acid juice is converted into sugar as the fruit ripens, and even after it is gathered, by natural process, termed maturation; but, when apples decay, the sugar is changed into a bitter principle, and the mucilage becomes mouldy and offensive. Old cheese has a remarkable effect in meliorating the apple when eaten; probably from the volatile alkali or ammonia of the cheese neutralizing its acid.


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