Botanists theorize that apples originated somewhere in central and southern China. By 2500 B.C. apples were cultivated throughout northern Mesopotamia and Persia. The walled gardens of Persia included fruit trees for their ornamental beauty as well as for their culinary delights. The ancient Greeks and Romans also cultivated apple orchards, and their wealthy citizens enjoyed apples as part of the dessert course at banquets. In the first century C.E. the Roman writer Pliny described over twenty named varieties in his Natural History. Apple orchards were established throughout continental Europe and in Britain as the Romans extended their empire, culture, and crops. An indicator of the importance of the apple in these ancient cultures is its prevalence in Greek and Roman mythology. The Roman goddess Pomona tended her orchards and bestowed gifts of fruit on her favorites as rewards for favorable acts.
Cautions: Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing or under doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid eyes, nose, ears and other sensitive areas. Keep out of sunlight.