Apples are a staple in most parts of the world, especially in North America, where they were introduced by Europeans when the settlers arrived. This fruit thrives in all sorts of climates, and can be cultivated in many different countries.
Japan grows almost all of the apples it eats, with Aomori, a northern prefecture in Japan just below Hokkaido, growing the most apples.
In fact, the world’s heaviest apple was grown in Aomori by farmer Chisato Iwasaki at his apple farm in Hirosaki City. The apple weighed a whopping 1.849 kg (4 lb 1 oz). It was probably bigger than Newton’s head.
Apples as we know them today didn’t exist in Japan until the 1870s. There were no apples anywhere to be found, even though the Chinese and most of mainland Asia had been cultivating them for hundreds, if not thousands of years. There was, however, a distant relative native to Japan. It was a small crab apple-like fruit, smaller than the size of a golf ball.
During the beginnings of the Meiji Era, Japanese Samurai had started growing apples, and they eventually gave birth to the first and Japan’s oldest variety of Apple, the Fuji Apple. Today it is one of the most popular varieties of apple in the entire world.
Apples are considered many things in Japan, unlike America. In America, apples are a snack food that you can cut up and put into a kid’s lunch box, or simply enjoy in a casual fruit salad on a hot summer’s day. In Japan, however, apples are sold as dessert foods and even as luxury gifts. Some apples in Japan can cost over $20 each! It really is quite expensive, but it is commonly used as a get well gift for patients in hospitals. You would only want to give your family members the best and most nutritious foods, wouldn’t you?