Monday 15 September 2008

What an apple represents

I haven't blogged about food for ages, I might as well do it now, but this is not exactly a food entry, as it is not about eating. This weekend, my wife and I went to visit friends in Windsor, where we spent a bit of the afternoon in the house of a little family (the couple, friends of my wife, and their daughter). I was lucky enough to pick a few apples from their tree. I didn't get any home, although they were really good, because I recently bought loads of apples from Waitrose (it was a special offer). As you know, I love picking fruits, especially apples. I am not so keen on the desserts we make with them, except apple crumbles and the Dorset apple cake my wife makes. I have never been keen on apple pies. Yet, to eat a fresh apple is one of the simple pleasures of life I enjoy.

The apple is a fascinating fruit. More than any other, it is the fruit of autumn: it is easily recognized, it's shape and bright red colour associates it with wealth and plentiful harvests. It's flavour is both sweet and slightly sour. It was mistakenly associated with the Forbidden Fruit, because of a mistranslation from Latin. Of course, it is also associated with many cultural icons: William Tell, Isaac Newton, Snow White, the apple Paris gave to Aphrodite and thus set in motion the Trojan War, and so on and so forth. The apple might have given Newton the key to modern physics, it is a fruit deeply associated with legends, witchcraft, superstition, folklore. it was an important ingredient for magic potions and divination spells (there is a good list of them in this book). It is ironic that apple pie is identified with simple purity: there is nothing pure about apples. Not only can you poison your stepdaughter with it, but you can also distill it and turn it into cider, maybe the most treacherous alcohol there is...

More on this in this wikipedia entry.


PJ said...

Moi, c'est l'inverse. Je préfère les produits de la pomme (sans cannelle, merci) à la pomme crue. On s'est fait de la tarte aux pommes et bleuets d'ailleurs (parce qu'il nous restait de la garniture de bleuets de trop de notre dernière tarte).

Guillaume said...

Pommes et bleuets, j'haïrais peut-être pas ça... Mais je trouve la tarte aux pommes un peu drabe.