Gala and Honeycrisp. Pink Lady and Pacific Rose. King Luscious and Winesap. The names of apples are as juicy as the fruit itself. One of the most widely distributed fruits on the planet, apples have always meant something beyond food and drink—their seeds have been planted deep within the myths, religion, and art of nearly every culture. They are symbols of beauty, desire, and sin; signs of hidden poisons and healthy eating; emblems of computers, phones, and music. Exploring the symbolism, art, and literature of the apple, as well as its botanical background, Marcia Reiss follows this iconic fruit from its origins to its now-ubiquitous presence in our world.
Journeying back to the apple’s germination in the mountains of Central Asia, Reiss travels along the Silk Road to Europe and the New World. She reveals that, from Charlemagne to Johnny Appleseed to the colonization of South Africa, where settlers were required to plant apple orchards that led to the development of new towns, apples have become a global commodity. In addition to delving into the latest debates about chemical sprays, Reiss looks at the rise of heirloom orchards and the hopes and fears of genetic developments. She also tells the parallel tale of apple cider, its decline during the Temperance Movement and its return as an artisanal alternative to wine. Beautifully illustrated with historic and contemporary images and containing a directory of popular and heirloom varieties, Apple is a book ripe for devouring.
Gravenstein. Coe’s Golden Drop. Mendocino Cox. The names sound like something from the imagination of Tolkien or perhaps the ingredients in a dubious magical potion rather than what they are—varieties of apples. But as befits their enchanting names, apples have transfixed and beguiled humans for thousands of years.
Apple: A Global History explores the cultural and culinary importance of a fruit born in the mountains of Kazakhstan that has since traversed the globe to become a favorite almost everywhere. From the Garden of Eden and Homer’s Odyssey to Johnny Appleseed, William Tell, and even Apple Computer, Erika Janik shows how apples have become a universal source of sustenance, health, and symbolism from ancient times to the present day.
Featuring many mouthwatering illustrations, this exploration of the planet’s most popular fruit includes a guide to selecting the best apples, in addition to apple recipes from around the world, including what is believed to be the first recorded apple recipe from Roman gourmand Marcus Apicius. And Janik doesn’t let us forget that apples are not just good eating; their juice also makes for good drinking—as the history of cider in North America and Europe attests.
Janik grew up surrounded by apple iconography in Washington, the “apple state,” so there is no better author to tell this fascinating story. Readers will eat up this surprising and entertaining tale of a fruit intricately linked to human history.
The story of apples begins in an unexpected place: with bears. While popular culture likes to link honey with these creatures, DNA evidence shows that it might be more accurate for Winnie the Pooh to be munching on an ancestor of Red Delicious. And while apples are modern America’s second favorite fruit (after “berries”), their origins lie in ancient China. These are just some of the remarkable details that arise from Barrie E. Juniper and David J. Mabberley’s The Extraordinary Story of the Apple. Written by two leading botanical experts, it’s a complete natural and cultural history of the apple.
Using DNA evidence, Juniper and Mabberley trace the fruit’s geographical journey through time and across countries. They show how the apple has long been one of the most important fruits in the temperate regions of the world, and that it has been beloved since the times of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Its reach grew thanks to its reputation as a highly nutritional food source as well as one that is remarkably convenient, as the apple can be stored throughout a harsh winter or easily transported over long distances. The authors also examine the apple’s global influence on human culture. After all, it’s the fruit that played a key role in the fall of Adam and Eve, the inspiration for Newton’s Law of Gravity, and the rise of a tech behemoth.
With a nod to this book’s roots with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, chapters also cover types of apple and apple crops, grafting techniques over time, archaeological discoveries, use as a food and in cider making, as well as the latest research in apple biology. This fascinating book is illustrated throughout with color illustrations, paintings, photographs, and line drawings, and will make the ideal read for gardeners, growers, botanists, historians, archaeologists and zoologists alike. The next time you pluck an apple from a supermarket bushel, you’ll understand the millennia of human—and Ursidae—influences on that humble fruit.
At dinnertime: check. At a traffic light: check. In bed at the end of the day: check. In line at the coffee shop: check. In The Geek’s Chihuahua, Ian Bogost addresses the modern love affair of “living with Apple” during the height of the company’s market influence and technology dominance.
The ubiquitous iPhone and its kin saturate our lives, changing everything from our communication to our posture. Bogost contrasts the values of Apple’s massive success in the twenty-first century with those of its rise in the twentieth. And he connects living with Apple with the phenomenon of “hyperemployment”—the constant overwork of today’s technological life that all of us now experience. Bogost also reflects on the new potential function—as well as anxiety and anguish—of devices like the Apple Watch. We are tethered to our devices, and, as Bogost says: that’s just life—anxious, overworked, and utterly networked life.
Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.