Apples are probably the best known of the non-tropical fruits today. There are at least a thousand varieties of apples and most of them are excellent when eaten raw. Each location in which apples are grown, have a few varieties seem to be especially popular and are used to the exclusion of others. Apples of all kinds may be prepared in a large variety of ways. They are commonly used for sauces, pies, cakes and numerous desserts, as well as for jelly and, with various fruit mixtures, for jams and preserves. The juice of apples, which upon being extracted is known as cider, is used in a number of ways, but its most important use is in the manufacture of vinegar.

Some apples are better for one purpose and some for another. For instance, many that are excellent if eaten raw are not good for cooking purposes, and others that cook very well are not preferred for eating. It is therefore a good idea to become familiar with the varieties of apples raised in your local community and to learn the best use for each variety.

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Some apples mature early in the summer, while others do not ripen until late in the fall. The late apples can be kept during the entire winter if they are properly stored, but the summer varieties must generally be used immediately, as they do not have good keeping qualities.

Great strides have been made in the cultivation of fruit. Many varieties that formerly grew wild are now commonly cultivated. Most of the cultivated fruits are superior to the same kind in the wild state, at least in size and appearance, but often there seems to be a loss of flavor.

Through cultivation, some fruits that were almost inedible in their wild state on account of containing so many seeds have been made seedless. Also, through cross-cultivation, varieties of fruit different from what formerly existed have been obtained. An example of such fruit is the loganberry which is a cross between a red raspberry and a blackberry and retains many of the qualities of each.