American cuisine

How Pilgrims Made Apples Part of American Cooking

North Carolina historical sites reveal that the first apple seeds were brought to America by pilgrims in 1620 who lived in what we now call Massachusetts. Apple trees quickly found a home in this region and quickly spread to northeast Maryland where, at one point, 90% of farms in that state grew apples. This fruit quickly became a staple, and trees were found in Virginia and North Carolina. Apples were here to stay.

Later, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed and also a Massachusetts native, would take up the mantle of spreading the love of apples. But according to the Smithsonian Magazine, these apples weren’t primarily for eating, but rather for making cider, which was an important drink for the settlers. In a country where water safety could be questionable, cider was the perfect alternative. The magazine goes on to explain that Chapman was primarily a businessman and traveled before pioneer settlers and planted orchards before they arrived. He would then sell the orchards and move on to the next frontier. Today, America is one of the biggest producers of these beautiful fruits (via Statista).