One of the things that puzzled me once I learned a bit about apples is how Mr. John Chapman got to be so wealthy. Apples do not breed true. Plant a thousand apple seeds and you might get one tree with edible fruit. He moved ahead of the pioneers, planting apple nurseries, then selling trees to settlers. You couldn't eat those apples.
So, I finally made the connection while reading an article on Prohibition. Turns out, until that ill-fated experiment, apples were used for making hard cider or cooking. People didn't eat them! Commercial orchards were mainly producing for the cider and apple jack industries. When that outlet was banned, there was a mad scramble to A. Find and graft eating apples to existing trees and B. Convince Americans that apples were good eating.
Nice to see people putting them to their proper use once again.
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