Specially cultivated apples were imported to Britain around the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. These imports were cultivated in Europe and transported via France to Britain and it is believed that the variety of apple tree we know today as the Crab Tree Apple is a descendant of these early imported varieties.
An early pioneer of apple importation was Richard Harris a Royal fruiterer to Henry the VIII who imported varieties of apple trees from France and cultivated them in and round Kent in the 16th century. Later on, Victorian explorers introduced many other different varieties of apples to the British Isles. Many of these cultivars can stil bel found in the National Fruit Collection in Brogdale Kent, home to over 3,500 varieties of apples and other popular fruit.
Some interesting facts about apples:
• There are over 7500 known types of apple (known as cultivars)
• Cox's Orange Pippin is the most popular variety of apple in the UK, with the Braeburn coming a close second
• More than 75% of an average apple is made up of water
• China is the largest producer of apples having produced over 27 million tonnes in 2008 - six times more than the second largest producer the USA
• The science of studying tree fruits such as apples is known as Pomology
Today almost 70% of the apples eaten in the UK are imported from overseas with only 30% being locally grown. Many factors such as eating habits and strict quality control regulations in supermarkets mean that home grown apples rarely make it onto our supermarket shelves instead these apples are often used for apple juice production or are sold to local farm shops and delis.
For more information about importing fruit in the UK visit :
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