Memorial Hall Library

As Kazak as Apple Pie! Recipes, Histories and the Science of the World's Most Iconic Fruit

Modern plant scientists believe that all domestic apples around the world are descended from southern Kazakhstan's ancient wild apple forests. That's where the species Malus siversii, the mother of all apples, despite years of rigorous study and celebration,  is in danger of extinction.  The worlds most iconic fruit has been celebrated as a sweet delicacy for thousands of years in many cultures around the world.  Ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Romans and Scandinavians even used the name of an apple to signify the meaning of fruit in general. The forbidden fruit in the Old Testament creation story, the cause of the Trojan war, the source of immortality for Norse Gods, apples have been imbued with good and evil since the beginning of recorded history.  Henry David Thoreau, who thought naming apple varieties to be a "pleasant pastime" wrote, " The history of the apple is connected with that of man."  His contemporary from neighboring Leominster, John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed spent more than forty years planting apple nurseries across Pennsylvannia, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois and left a legacy forevery stitching the very idea of America with that of a red, round genus Malus fruit.    

September 26th, John Chapman's birthday is celebrated as National Johnny Appleseed Day. It's fun to think that the father of American apple nurseries was born in peak apple picking season.  This fall, we encourage you to consider our sweet national fruit beyond the produce bin full of Red Delicious.  Pick up a library book about apples and let us know what you learned!  

Johnny Appleseed : the man, the myth, the American story
Johnny Appleseed : the man, the myth, the American story
by Howard B. Means

"This portrait of Johnny Appleseed restores the flesh-and-blood man beneath the many myths. It captures the boldness of an iconic American life and the sadness of his last years, as the frontier marched past him, ever westward. And it shows how death liberated the legend and made of Johnny a barometer of the nation's feelings about its own heroic past and the supposed Eden it once had been. It is a book that does for America's inner frontier what Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage did for its western one. No American folk hero--not Davy Crockett, not even Daniel Boone--is better known than Johnny Appleseed, and none has become more trapped in his own legends. 
Apples are from Kazakhstan : the land that disappeared
Apples are from Kazakhstan : the land that disappeared
by Christopher Robbins

Travel writer Christopher Robbins relates a story by turns hilarious and grim as he finds Eminem-worship by a shrinking Aral Sea, hears the Kazakh John Lennon play in a dusty desert town, joins nomads hunting eagles, eats boiled sheep's head (a delicacy), and explores some of the most beautiful, unspoiled places on earth. Meet the country that gave the world apples, trousers, and possibly King Arthur. 

	Apples of uncommon character : 123 heirlooms, modern classics & little-known wonders
Apples of uncommon character : 123 heirlooms, modern classics & little-known wonders
by Rowan Jacobsen

The James Beard Award-winning author of A Geography of Oysters presents a recipe-complemented celebration of America's apple renaissance that explores 120 of the fruit's considerable varieties, including the Black Oxford, the Knobbed Russet and the D'Arcy Spice.
Plants from pits : pots of plants for the whole family to enjoy
Plants from pits : pots of plants for the whole family to enjoy
by Holly Farrell

Shows readers how to grow fruits and vegetables, covering the science of how plants grow to how to deal with pests and discussing what, when, where, and how to cultivate the best results
Apples to cider : how to make sweet and hard cider at home
Apples to cider : how to make sweet and hard cider at home
by April White
Cidermakers and their colleagues share decades of experience and a simple philosophy: Cider is all about the apples. Whether you are a home brewer, a home winemaker, or simply a cider lover, you can join the growing community of cidermakers that are reviving this thousand-year-old craft. With these easy-to-follow instructions for first-time cidermakers and advanced techniques for the more experienced, you'll be on your way to making your own delicious cider at home.
 
The botany of desire : a plants-eye view of the world
The botany of desire : a plants-eye view of the world
by Michael Pollan
 Links four fundamental human desires--sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control--with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we've benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
 

	The apple cookbook : 125 freshly picked recipes
The apple cookbook : 125 freshly picked recipes
by Olwen Woodier

Describes different varieties of apples and their uses, and shares recipes for beverages, snacks, salads, side dishes, main dishes, breakfasts, breads, and desserts which feature apples
Grow fruit
Grow fruit
by Alan Buckingham

In a book with a fruit grower's year planner and a troubleshooting section for common pests and diseases, the main text provides a practical guide for growing one's own fruit, no matter how much time or space a person has. 

	The complete guide to edible wild plants, mushrooms, fruits, and nuts : finding, identifying, and cooking
The complete guide to edible wild plants, mushrooms, fruits, and nuts : finding, identifying, and cooking
by Katie Letcher Lyle

Explains how to recognize and safely harvest wild fruits and vegetables, and presents a collection of recipes featuring such ingredients as crab apples, morels, stinging nettles, prickly pears, and marigolds
The apple lover's cookbook
The apple lover's cookbook
by Amy Traverso

The food editor of Yankee magazine presents 100 apple recipes from Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns and Deep-Dish Apple Pie to Cider-Brined Turkey and Apple Squash Gratin and also includes a guide to 60 different kinds of apples, their flavor and history. 
The Best Apples To Buy And Grow
Brooklyn Botanic Garden's deliciously illustrated tribute to the luscious, healthful apple. There's plenty of information on cultivation, including the ABCs of growing the fruit at home and lots of expert tips. Foodiess who love to eat and cook with apples will also find this guide useful and enjoyable. With an encyclopedia of 60 of America's best varieties, it's handy to take along when visiting farmer's markets and roadside stands, and will help buyers choose from the bounty of treasured heirloom breeds and tasty new types. To add to the pleasure: fascinating background and stories about the apple. 

	Apples of New England : a user's guide
Apples of New England : a user's guide
by Russell Steven Powell

Offers practical advice for identifying more than 200 kinds of apples commonly found growing in New England as well as background information on their flavor, texture, history, ripening time and best uses.
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