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The nutritional properties of apples.

Apples are among the most consumed fruits, so they really don’t need an introduction. Despite the public’s general perception of them as healthy fruits, very little is known about their actual nutritional value, which is extremely important. Apples have a higher vitamin C content than citrus fruits. They also contain beta-carotene, phosphoric acid, and various benzoics, which, among other things, act to support the skin. Although they are very sweet, they actually have a low calorie content: 100 grammes of apples provide only 38 kcal.

Apples are generally found all year round, but more scarce in the heart of summer (from July to August).They bear fruit on a sturdy, densely populated tree that can grow to a height of eight metres.

Apples are the fruits of the Pyrus Malus, a widely cultivated plant in the regions of Northern Italy and throughout Europe, with the exception of the extreme northern areas. Apples are large, round berries with thin, resilient skin that can be shiny, opaque, or yellowish. Depending on the variety, the skin might have stripes that range from yellow to green to a vibrant red colour. When fully ripe, the pulp has a white, fleshy texture and a flavour that is either slightly acidic or sweet.

It is very easy to store apples, and in addition to being usually consumed raw or cooked, they are also used to make jams. The juice is used in making soft drinks, such as cider or apple wine, which are highly popular throughout Central Europe. These dinks are made by the fermentation method.

The varieties of apples grown are numerous and allow the choice of the most convenient ones in relation to different needs. Among the most cultivated varieties are: the delicious, red or yellow; the renette, with a compact and slightly acidic pulp; granny Smiths, light green and sour; the abundances, large and red in colour; the annurche from Campania, with a purplish-red colour and tender, juicy, sugary-acid pulp; and the limoncelle, yellow in colour, with a compact and sour pulp.

It is advisable to purchase ripe, colourful, compact fruits with their stems still connected. Steer clear of those with evident injuries or dents. They are kept at room temperature, ideally not too hot.

The most famous apple varieties

They have been cultivated since the Neolithic period, so they have a very long history behind them. This has led to the development of thousands of varieties (there are around 2000 in Italy alone). Below, you will find some of the most consumed varieties in our country:

  • Renetta: It is a very large variety, with yellow skin and dark spots. It is mainly used in the confectionery sector.
  • Golden Delicious: A versatile variety suitable for raw consumption and for making jams or desserts.
  • Stark: It is the classic “snow white apple.” The fruit is large, and the skin is shiny and intense red. The pulp is firm and has a full-bodied flavour.
  • Royal Gala: The peel is red with yellow shades. It is very aromatic and has an extremely sweet flavour. This type of apple is medium-sized.
  • Fuji: It is distinguished by its medium-sweet pulp, which is both extremely juicy and crunchy, and also by its red skin with green undertones.
  • Pink Lady: It is a recent variety that is very sweet and juicy. It also stands out for its rosé skin.
  • Braeburn: It is a variety with a firm and compact pulp, but it’s not very sweet. The peel is typically green.

Apples from a culinary perspective

It goes without saying that eating apples raw, or as a table fruit, is the ideal way to eat them. Apples are also valued for their versatility, which is why they are typically used to make confections. Apple pie and strudel are the most often consumed “apple-based” desserts. Of course, apple jams are also really good.

The fruit also works well in more daring dishes, like salads, especially when the goal is to have a sour and sweet taste. Appetisers that play on the sweet-savoury combination and involve the use of cured meats are also excellent.

Cake is the only main recipe that makes use of apples! Here’s a soft apple cake without gluten, lactose, or nickel! I did it! Apple pie is a great classic of Italian cuisine. Here I present to you a slightly different version from the standard one, namely the gluten-free, lactose-free, and low-nickel-content apple pie. A soft, fluffy apple pie.

This version is suitable for people with dietary intolerances; in particular, it is low in nickel (a material that can cause significant reactions in susceptible persons), gluten-free, and lactose-free. The flavour is completely similar to the usual one, that is, not excessively sweet and enhanced by an unmistakable aroma. The filling is actually just fruit that has been sweetened with sugar—neither cream nor chocolate is used.

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