The pea is most the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be yellow. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they develop from the ovary of a flower; the name is used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea, the cowpea, the seeds from several species of Lathyrus. P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool-season crop grown in many parts of the world; the average pea weighs between 0.36 gram. The immature peas are used as a vegetable, frozen or canned; these are the basis of staples of medieval cuisine. The wild pea is restricted to the Near East; the earliest archaeological finds of peas date from the late neolithic era of current Greece, Syria and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from c. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, from c. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan c. 2000 BC.
In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, this pulse crop appears in the Ganges Basin and southern India. A pea is a most green golden yellow, or infrequently purple pod-shaped vegetable grown as a cool season vegetable crop; the seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches 10 °C, with the plants growing best at temperatures of 13 to 18 °C. They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates, but do grow well in cooler, high altitude, tropical areas. Many cultivars reach maturity about 60 days after planting. Peas have vining cultivars; the vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose.
In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate. In early times, peas were grown for their dry seeds. From plants growing wild in the Mediterranean basin, constant selection since the Neolithic dawn of agriculture improved their yield. In the early 3rd century BC Theophrastus mentions peas among the pulses that are sown late in the winter because of their tenderness. In the first century AD, Columella mentions them in De re rustica, when Roman legionaries still gathered wild peas from the sandy soils of Numidia and Judea to supplement their rations. In the Middle Ages, field peas are mentioned, as they were the staple that kept famine at bay, as Charles the Good, count of Flanders, noted explicitly in 1124. Green "garden" peas, eaten immature and fresh, were an innovative luxury of Early Modern Europe. In England, the distinction between field peas and garden peas dates from the early 17th century: John Gerard and John Parkinson both mention garden peas.
Sugar peas, which the French soon called mange-tout, for they were consumed pods and all, were introduced to France from the market gardens of Holland in the time of Henri IV, through the French ambassador. Green peas were introduced from Genoa to the court of Louis XIV of France in January 1660, with some staged fanfare. Established and grown for earliness warmed with manure and protected under glass, they were still a luxurious delicacy in 1696, when Mme de Maintenon and Mme de Sevigné each reported that they were "a fashion, a fury."Modern split peas, with their indigestible skins rubbed off, are a development of the 19th century. In modern times peas are boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bioavailable. Along with broad beans and lentils, these formed an important part of the diet of most people in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe during the Middle Ages. By the 17th and 18th centuries, it had become popular to eat peas "green", that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked.
New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time, which became known as "garden" or "English" peas. The popularity of green peas spread to North America. Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate. With the invention of canning and freezing of foods, green peas became available year-round, not just in the spring as before. Fresh peas are eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are used in pot pies and casseroles. Pod peas are used in stir-fried dishes those in A
Mangoes are juicy stone fruit from numerous species of tropical trees belonging to the flowering plant genus Mangifera, cultivated for their edible fruit. The majority of these species are found in nature as wild mangoes; the genus belongs to the cashew family Anacardiaceae. Mangoes are native to South Asia, from where the "common mango" or "Indian mango", Mangifera indica, has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics. Other Mangifera species are grown on a more localized basis, it is the national fruit of India and Pakistan, the national tree of Bangladesh. It is the unofficial national fruit of the Philippines; the English word "mango" originated from the Malayalam word māṅṅa via Dravidian mankay and Portuguese manga during the spice trade period with South India in the 15th and 16th centuries. Mango is mentioned by Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch commander of the Malabar region in his 1678 book, Hortus Malabaricus, about plants having economic value.
When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled because of lack of refrigeration. Other fruits were pickled and came to be called "mangoes" bell peppers, in the 18th century, the word "mango" became a verb meaning "to pickle". Mango trees grow to 35–40 m tall, with a crown radius of 10 m; the trees are long-lived. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m, with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots and anchor roots penetrating into the soil; the leaves are evergreen, simple, 15–35 cm long, 6–16 cm broad. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm long. Over 500 varieties of mangoes are known, many of which ripen in summer, while some give a double crop; the fruit takes four to five months from flowering to ripen. The ripe fruit varies in size, color and eating quality. Cultivars are variously yellow, red, or green, carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, which does not separate from the pulp.
The fruits may be somewhat round, oval, or kidney-shaped, ranging from 5–25 centimetres in length and from 140 grams to 2 kilograms in weight per individual fruit. The skin is leather-like, waxy and fragrant, with color ranging from green to yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-red, or blushed with various shades of red, pink or yellow when ripe. Ripe intact mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm long. Mangoes have recalcitrant seeds which do not survive drying. Mango trees grow from seeds, with germination success highest when seeds are obtained from mature fruits. Mangoes have been cultivated in South Asia for thousands of years and reached Southeast Asia between the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. By the 10th century CE, cultivation had begun in East Africa; the 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported it at Mogadishu. Cultivation came to Brazil, the West Indies, Mexico, where an appropriate climate allows its growth.
The mango is now cultivated in warmer subtropical climates. Mangoes are grown in Andalusia, Spain, as its coastal subtropical climate is one of the few places in mainland Europe that permits the growth of tropical plants and fruit trees; the Canary Islands are another notable Spanish producer of the fruit. Other cultivators include North America and Central America, the Caribbean, Hawai'i, south and central Africa, China, South Korea, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. Though India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than 1% of the international mango trade. Many commercial cultivars are grafted on to the cold-hardy rootstock of Gomera-1 mango cultivar from Cuba, its root system is well adapted to a coastal Mediterranean climate. Many of the 1,000+ mango cultivars are cultivated using grafted saplings, ranging from the "turpentine mango" to the Bullock's Heart. Dwarf or semidwarf varieties can be grown in containers. A wide variety of diseases can afflict mangoes. There are many hundreds of named mango cultivars.
In mango orchards, several cultivars are grown in order to improve pollination. Many desired cultivars are monoembryonic and must be propagated by grafting or they do not breed true. A common monoembryonic cultivar is'Alphonso', an important export product, considered as "the king of mangoes". Cultivars that excel in one climate may fail elsewhere. For example, Indian cultivars such as'Julie', a prolific cultivar in Jamaica, require annual fungicide treatments to escape the lethal fungal disease anthracnose in Florida. Asian mangoes are resistant to anthracnose; the current world market is dominated by the cultivar'Tommy Atkins', a seedling of'Haden' that first fruited in 1940 in southern Florida and was rejected commercially by Florida researchers. Growers and importers worldwide have embraced the cultivar for its exc
The rutabaga, swede, or neep called by several other names in different regions, is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. The roots are eaten in a variety of ways, the leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable; the roots and tops are used as winter feed, fed directly or that livestock can forage in the field during the other seasons. Scotland and Ireland have a tradition of carving the roots into lanterns at Halloween. Rutabaga has many regional names. Rutabaga is the common North American term for the plant; this comes from rot + bagge. In the U. S. the plant is known as Swedish turnip or yellow turnip. The term swede is used in many Commonwealth Nations, including much of England and New Zealand; the name turnip is used in parts of Northern and Midland England, the West Country, the island of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Manitoba and Atlantic Canada. In Wales, according to region, it is variously known as maip, erfin, swedsen, or swejen in Welsh, as swede or turnip in English.
In Scotland, it is known as turnip, in Scots as tumshie or neep. Some areas of south-east Scotland, such as Berwickshire and Roxburghshire, still use the term baigie a derivative of the Swedish dialectal word rotabagge; the term turnip is used for the white turnip. Some will refer to both swede and turnip as just turnip. In north-east England and swedes are colloquially called snadgers, snaggers or narkies. Rutabaga is known as moot in the Isle of Man and the Manx language word for turnip is napin, its common name in Sweden is kålrot. In Denmark it is known as kålroe and kålrabi, while in Norway it is known as kålrabi or kålrot and in Estonia as kaalikas. In Denmark and Norway, kålrabi is sometimes confused with Swedish kålrabbi; the Finnish term is lanttu. The Romanian term is nap. Rutabaga is known by many different regional names in German, of which Kohlrübe and Steckrübe are the most widespread and most used in lists of ingredients; the first known printed reference to the rutabaga comes from the Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin in 1620, where he notes that it was growing wild in Sweden.
It is considered to have originated in Scandinavia or Russia. There are contradictory accounts of; some sources say it arrived in England by way of Germany, while other accounts support Swedish origins. According to John Sinclair the root vegetable arrived in England from Germany around 1750. Rutabaga arrives in Scotland by way of Sweden around 1781. An article on the topic in The Gardeners' Chronicle suggests that the rutabaga was introduced more to England in 1790. Introduction to North America came in the early 19th century with reports of rutabaga crops in Illinois as early as 1817. Rutabaga was once considered a food of last resort in both Germany and France due to its association with food shortages in World War I and World War II. Boiled stew with rutabaga and water as the only ingredients was a typical food in Germany during the famines and food shortages of World War I caused by the Allied blockade and between 1945 and 1949; as a result, many older Germans had unhappy memories of this food.
One diary, written by an anonymous young girl from the Łódź Ghetto, contained substantial discussion about food and hunger. Łódź was the only ghetto on "German" soil and, due to this peculiarity of its character, the black market smuggling of food and other necessities had not been possible at Łódź. Out of the "major ghettos", Łódź had been the most affected by hunger and malnutrition-related deaths; the young diarist recounts in detail her father arriving home one evening with two stolen rutabagas. Each of the rutabagas was divided into 3 portions which she noted "worked out at seventy decagrams each". Though her father had been given some small pieces of rutabaga, she wrote that "He knew there was nothing to eat at home, so he didn't eat them on the spot although he was hungry … I can't write anymore because my eyes are filled with tears."Walter Meyer, a prisoner at the Ravensbrück men's camp, has written that "rutabaga soup became the staple food". One American POW recalled rutabaga soup "made from peelings".
A prisoner, held at a POW camp for captured Polish officers said the Germans provided prisoners with only small portions of soup made from "just water and rutabaga". Another survivor, held at Westerbork and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp noted the poor quality of the rutabagas themselves, saying that in some cases prisoners would discard the "dried out and gray" rutabagas. A circular from April 1942 discusses cuts to the rations of the German population by the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture; the text gives an account of Germany's dwindling food supply, concluding: "To fill the gap, the Hitler government, just like 25 years ago, the government of Wilhelm II, will feed the German people with promises and with rutabagas" using the German word Kohlrüben for rutabaga. Rutabaga has a complex taxonomic history; the earliest account comes from the Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin, who wrote about it in his 1620 Prodromus. Brassica napobrassica was first va
A pimiento, pimento, or cherry pepper is a variety of large, heart-shaped chili pepper that measures 3 to 4 in long and 2 to 3 in wide. The flesh of the pimiento is sweet and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper; some varieties of the pimiento type are hot, including Santa Fe Grande varieties. The fruits are used fresh or pickled; the pimiento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper. Spanish pimiento and Portuguese pimento both come from Latin pigmentum and came to be used for bell peppers. In Portugal and its former colonial empire, the word came to be used for other forms of pepper, including black pepper. In Brazil, it came to mean chili peppers; the English borrowed "pimiento" and "pimento" as loanwords for what is distinguished in Spanish as pimentón and in Brazilian Portuguese as pimenta pitanga. "Sweet" pimiento peppers are the familiar red stuffing found in prepared Spanish or Greek green olives. The pimiento was hand-cut into tiny pieces hand-stuffed into each olive to balance out the olive's otherwise strong, salty flavor.
Despite the popularity of the combination, this production method was costly and time-intensive. In the industrial era, the cut pimiento was shot by a hydraulic pump into one end of each olive inserting the pimiento in the center while ejecting the pip out the other end. More for ease of production, pimientos are puréed formed into tiny strips, with the help of a natural gum; this allows olive speeding the process and lowering production costs. Pimientos are used for making pimento cheese, it is used for making pimento loaf, a type of processed sandwich meat. List of Capsicum cultivars Pepper jelly Webster's Dictionary of the English Language – Unabridged Encyclopedic Edition, Publishers International Press, New York, 1977
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh sometimes called "curd"; the cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds as the edible portion. Brassica oleracea includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, collectively called "cole" crops, though they are of different cultivar groups. In the 1st century AD, Pliny included what he called cyma among his descriptions of cultivated plants in Natural History: "Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima est cyma,". Pliny's descriptions refer to the flowering heads of an earlier cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea, but comes close to describing modern cauliflower. In the Middle Ages early forms of cauliflower were associated with the island of Cyprus, with the Arab botanists Ibn al-'Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar, in the 12th and 13th centuries claiming its origins were Cyprus.
This association continued into Western Europe, where cauliflowers were sometimes known as Cyprus colewart, there was extensive trade in western Europe in cauliflower seeds from Cyprus, under the French Lusignan rulers of the island, until well into the sixteenth century. François Pierre La Varenne employed chouxfleurs in Le cuisinier françois, they were introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century, are featured in Olivier de Serres' Théâtre de l'agriculture, as cauli-fiori "as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France. It was introduced to India in 1822 from England by the British; the word "cauliflower" derives from the Italian cavolfiore, meaning "cabbage flower". The ultimate origin of the name is from the Latin words caulis and flōs. Cauliflower is difficult to grow compared to cabbage, with common problems such as an underdeveloped head and poor curd quality; as weather is a limiting factor for producing cauliflower, the plant grows best in cool daytime temperatures 70–85 °F, with plentiful sun, moist soil conditions high in organic matter and sandy soils.
The earliest maturity possible for cauliflower is 7 to 12 weeks from transplanting. In the northern hemisphere, fall season plantings in July may enable harvesting before autumn frost. Long periods of sun exposure in hot summer weather may cause cauliflower heads to discolor with a red-purple hue. Transplantable cauliflowers can be produced in containers as flats, hotbeds, or in the field. In soil, loose, well-drained and fertile, field seedlings are shallow-planted 0.5 inches and thinned by ample space (about 12 plants per 1 foot. Ideal growing temperatures are about 65 °F when seedlings are 25 to 35 days old. Applications of fertilizer to developing seedlings begin when leaves appear with a starter solution weekly. Transplanting to the field begins late spring and may continue until mid-summer. Row spacing is about 15–18 inches. Rapid vegetative growth after transplanting may benefit from such procedures as avoiding spring frosts, using starter solutions high in phosphorus, irrigating weekly, applying fertilizer.
The most important disorders affecting cauliflower quality are a hollow stem, stunted head growth or buttoning, ricing and leaf-tip burn. Among major pests affecting cauliflower are aphids, root maggots, cutworms and flea beetles; the plant is susceptible to black rot, black leg, club root, black leaf spot, downy mildew. When cauliflower is mature, heads appear as clear white, 6–8 inches in diameter, should be cooled shortly after harvest. Forced air cooling to remove heat from the field during hot weather may be needed for optimal preservation. Short-term storage is possible using cool, high-humidity storage conditions. There are four major groups of cauliflower. Italian This specimen is diverse in appearance and annual in type; this group includes white, various brown, green and yellow cultivars. This type is the ancestral form from which the others were derived. Northern European annuals Used in Europe and North America for summer and fall harvest, it was developed in Germany in the 18th century, includes the old cultivars Erfurt and Snowball.
Northwest European biennial Used in Europe for winter and early spring harvest, this was developed in France in the 19th century, includes the old cultivars Angers and Roscoff. Asian A tropical cauliflower used in China and India, it was developed in India during the 19th century from the now-abandoned Cornish type, includes old varieties Early Benaras and Early Patna. There are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties used around the world. A comprehensive list of about 80 North American varieties is maintained at North Carolina State University. White White cauliflower is the most common color of cauliflower having a contrasting white head surrounded by green leaves. Orange Orange cauliflower contains beta-carotene as the orange pigment, a provitamin A compound; this orange trait originated from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada. Cultivars include'Cheddar' and'Orange Bouquet'. Green Green cauliflower, of the B. oleracea botrytis group, is sometimes called broccoflower.
It is available in the normal curd shape and with a fractal spiral curd cal
Butternut squash, sometimes known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin or gramma, is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin, it has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns deep orange, becomes sweeter and richer, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium. Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, sautéed, puréed for soups such as squash soup, or mashed to be used in casseroles, breads and pies; the word "squash" comes from the Massachuset Tribes word askutasquash, meaning "eaten raw or uncooked." Although Native people may have eaten some forms of squash without cooking, today most squash is eaten cooked. The late-growing, less symmetrical, odd-shaped, rough or warty kinds, small to medium in size, but with long-keeping qualities and hard rinds, are called winter squash, they belong without exception, to the species Cucurbita maxima or C. moschata.
The small, quick-growing forms that are eaten before the rinds and seeds begin to harden are called summer squash and belong to the species C. pepo. Pumpkins belong to that species, but large, smooth, symmetrical forms of C. maxima and C. moschata are sometimes called "pumpkins" regardless of species. The word "pumpkin" is derived from the old French term pompion, meaning eaten when "cooked by the sun," or ripe. In modern French, pumpkin is called potiron. All three species of squashes and pumpkins are native to the Western Hemisphere. C. maxima, represented now by such varieties as Hubbard, Marblehead, Boston Marrow, Turks Turban originated in northern Argentina near the Andes, or in certain Andean valleys. At the time of the Spanish invasion it was found growing in such areas and has never since been found elsewhere except as evidently carried by man. Since this is a plant that requires a fair amount of hot weather for best growth, it has never become well known in northern Europe, the British Isles, or in similar areas with short or cool summers.
Only long-vining plants are known in this species. C. moschata, represented by such varieties as Cushaw and Winter Crookneck Squashes, Japanese Pie and Large Cheese Pumpkins, is a long-vining plant native to Mexico and Central America. This species and C. pepo originated in the same general area and Central America. Both are important food plants of the natives, ranking next to maize and beans; the flowers and the mature seeds, as well as the flesh of the fruit, are eaten in some areas. Before the arrival of Europeans, C. mosckata and C. pepo had been carried over all parts of North America where they could be grown, but they had not been carried into South America as had beans, which originated in the same general region. They were grown by American Natives all over what is now the United States. Many of these tribes in the West, still grow a diversity of hardy squashes and pumpkins not to be found in our markets. Although winter squashes are grown in many lands today, they are unimportant with few exceptions.
They are grown extensively in tropical America, in Japan, in certain districts in the United States. The calabazas of the West Indies and the forms grown by the natives of present-day Mexico and Central America are not of uniform, pure varieties, but are variable as to size and color. Since these species are cross-pollinated, it is difficult to keep a variety pure. In Japan just after World War II I found squash growing on trellises over the doorways or on the sides of houses, at the foundations of burned-out buildings where vines can grow over the ruins, beside and over small streams on horizontal trellises of poles; the largest "pumpkins" grown and bragged about are C. maxima squashes. The best commercially canned "pumpkin" is not pumpkin but Delicious, Boston Marrow, or similar squash; the flesh of these varieties of squash is more nutritious than that of pumpkin. Several years ago a North Dakota horticulturist bred a small variety of turban squash as a substitute for the sweet potato, which does not thrive on the northern Great Plains.
This little Buttercup squash has flesh similar to sweet potato in taste and quality. One of the most common ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. Once roasted, it can be eaten in a variety of ways; the fruit is prepared by removing the skin and seeds, which are not eaten or cooked. However, the seeds are edible, either raw or roasted, the skin is edible and softens when roasted. In Australia, it is regarded as a pumpkin, is used interchangeably with other types of pumpkin. In South Africa, butternut squash is used and prepared as a soup or grilled whole. Grilled butternut is seasoned with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon or stuffed before being wrapped in foil and grilled. Grilled butternut is served as a side dish to braais and the soup as a starter dish. Butternuts were introduced commercially in New Zealand in the 1950s by brothers Arthur and David Harrison who were nurserymen and market gardeners in Otaki. Bisque
An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most grown species in the genus Malus; the tree originated in Central Asia, where Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse and European Christian traditions. Apple trees are large. Apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and use, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2017 was 83.1 million tonnes, with China accounting for 49.8% of the total. The apple is a deciduous tree standing 6 to 15 ft tall in cultivation and up to 30 ft in the wild; when cultivated, the size and branch density are determined by rootstock selection and trimming method. The leaves are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and downy undersides. Blossoms are produced in spring with the budding of the leaves and are produced on spurs and some long shoots; the 3 to 4 cm flowers are white with a pink tinge that fades, five petaled, with an inflorescence consisting of a cyme with 4–6 flowers. The central flower of the inflorescence is called the "king bloom"; the fruit matures in late summer or autumn, cultivars exist in a wide range of sizes. Commercial growers aim to produce an apple, 2 3⁄4 to 3 1⁄4 in in diameter, due to market preference; some consumers those in Japan, prefer a larger apple, while apples below 2 1⁄4 in are used for making juice and have little fresh market value.
The skin of ripe apples is red, green, pink, or russetted, though many bi- or tri-colored cultivars may be found. The skin may be wholly or russeted i.e. rough and brown. The skin is covered in a protective layer of epicuticular wax; the exocarp is pale yellowish-white, though pink or yellow exocarps occur. The original wild ancestor of Malus pumila was Malus sieversii, found growing wild in the mountains of Central Asia in southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang, China. Cultivation of the species, most beginning on the forested flanks of the Tian Shan mountains, progressed over a long period of time and permitted secondary introgression of genes from other species into the open-pollinated seeds. Significant exchange with Malus sylvestris, the crabapple, resulted in current populations of apples being more related to crabapples than to the more morphologically similar progenitor Malus sieversii. In strains without recent admixture the contribution of the latter predominates. In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had sequenced the complete genome of the apple in collaboration with horticultural genomicists at Washington State University, using'Golden Delicious'.
It had about 57,000 genes, the highest number of any plant genome studied to date and more genes than the human genome. This new understanding of the apple genome will help scientists identify genes and gene variants that contribute to resistance to disease and drought, other desirable characteristics. Understanding the genes behind these characteristics will help scientists perform more knowledgeable selective breeding; the genome sequence provided proof that Malus sieversii was the wild ancestor of the domestic apple—an issue, long-debated in the scientific community. The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern present-day Turkey; the apple tree may have been the earliest tree that humans cultivated, growers have improved its fruits through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in 328 BCE. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia.
Of the many Old World plants that the Spanish introduced to Chiloé Archipelago in the 16th century, apple trees became well adapted. Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century, the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625; the only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called "common apples". Apple cultivars brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the "best" cultivars, showing the proliferation of new North American cultivars by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion-dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product; until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale.
Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. Controlled atmosphere facilities are used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilit