New York State Foods
Apples are members of the rose family, so they’re related to peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. They grow on small, deciduous trees, and ripen in autumn. Apples have a smooth skin that may be red, yellow, green, or mottled when ripe. The fruit is usually firm, though some varieties tend to be harder and others are softer and can have a mealy texture. Though apples are often cooked in pies, cakes, and other baked goods or simmered into sauces for meats, the most common way to eat an apple is raw, unpeeled, and out of hand, leaving behind the central core.
Apples probably originally came from central Asia, but they have been in New York since colonial days. Governor Peter Stuyvesant planted a Dutch apple tree in New York City in 1647, and by the 1700s, the state’s commercial orchards were well established and even exporting apples back to England. Today, New York produces about 25 million bushels of apples each year, the second most of any U.S. state. Its largest city, New York, is affectionately called "the Big Apple."