iPhoneOgraphy – 01 Dec 2016 (Day 336/366)
The orange (specifically, the sweet orange) is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae.
The fruit of the Citrus × sinensis is considered a sweet orange, whereas the fruit of the Citrus × aurantium is considered a bitter orange. The sweet orange reproduces asexually (apomixis through nucellar embryony); varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations.
The orange is a hybrid, between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata). It has genes that are ~25% pomelo and ~75% mandarin; however, it is not a simple backcrossed BC1 hybrid, but hybridized over multiple generations. The chloroplast genes, and therefore the maternal line, seem to be pomelo. The sweet orange has had its full genome sequenced. Earlier estimates of the percentage of pomelo genes varying from ~50% to 6% have been reported.
Sweet oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature in 314 BC. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for approximately 70% of citrus production.
In 2013, 71.4 million metric tons of oranges were grown worldwide, production being highest in Brazil and the U.S. states of Florida and California.
The orange is unknown in the wild state; it is assumed to have originated in southern China, northeastern India, and perhaps southeastern Asia, and that they were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC.
In Europe, the Moors introduced the orange to Spain which was known as Al-Andalusia, modern Andalusia, with large scale cultivation starting in the 10th century as evidenced by complex irrigation techniques specifically adapted to support orange orchards. Citrus fruits – among them the bitter orange, introduced to Italy by the crusaders in the 11th century – were grown widely in the south for medicinal purposes, but the sweet orange was unknown until the late 15th century or the beginnings of the 16th century, when Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange trees into the Mediterranean area. Shortly afterward, the sweet orange quickly was adopted as an edible fruit. It also was considered a luxury item and wealthy people grew oranges in private conservatories, called orangeries. By 1646, the sweet orange was well known throughout Europe.
Spanish travelers introduced the sweet orange into the American continent. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus may have planted the fruit in Hispaniola. Subsequent expeditions in the mid-1500s brought sweet oranges to South America and Mexico, and to Florida in 1565, when Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St Augustine. Spanish missionaries brought orange trees to Arizona between 1707 and 1710, while the Franciscans did the same in San Diego, California, in 1769. An orchard was planted at the San Gabriel Mission around 1804 and a commercial orchard was established in 1841 near present-day Los Angeles. In Louisiana, oranges were probably introduced by French explorers.
Archibald Menzies, the botanist and naturalist on the Vancouver Expedition, collected orange seeds in South Africa, raised the seedlings onboard and gave them to several Hawaiian chiefs in 1792. Eventually, the sweet orange was grown in wide areas of the Hawaiian Islands, but its cultivation stopped after the arrival of the Mediterranean fruit fly in the early 1900s.
As oranges are rich in vitamin C and do not spoil easily, during the Age of Discovery, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy.
Around 1872, Florida farmers obtained seeds from New Orleans. Many orange groves were established by grafting the sweet orange onto sour orange rootstocks.
iPhoneOgraphy – 26 Nov 2016 (Day 331/366)
Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religion, mythology and folktales is that as late as the 17th century, the word “apple” was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit other than berries, but including nuts. This term may even have extended to plant galls, as they were thought to be of plant origin (see oak Apple). For instance, when tomatoes were introduced into Europe, they were called “love apples”. In one Old English work, cucumbers are called eorþæppla (lit. “earth-apples’), just as in French, Dutch, Hebrew, Persian and Swiss German as well as several other German dialects, the words for potatoes mean “earth-apples” in English. In some languages, oranges are called “golden apples” or “Chinese apples”. Datura is called ‘thorn-apple”.
Ethnobotanical and ethnomycological scholars such as R. Gordon Wasson, Carl Ruck and Clark Heinrich write that the mythological apple is a symbolic substitution for the entheogenic Amanita muscaria (or fly agaric) mushroom. Its association with knowledge is an allusion to the revelatory states described by some shamans and users of psychedelic mushrooms. At times artists would co-opt the apple, as well as other religious symbology, whether for ironic effect or as a stock element of symbolic vocabulary. Thus, secular art as well made use of the apple as symbol of love and sexuality. It is often an attribute associated with Venus who is shown holding it.
Though the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition holds that Adam and Eve ate an apple from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. This may have been the result of Renaissance painter adding elements of Greek mythology into biblical scenes. The unnamed fruit of Eden thus became an apple under the influence of the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man and sin.
The Ancient Greek word “μήλον” (mēlon), now a loanword in English as melon or water melon did not mean, in Homer’s time, apple, the pomaceous fruit, but sheep or goat. In Latin, the words for ‘apple’ (“mālum”) and for ‘evil’ (“mãlum”) are nearly identical. This may also have influenced the apple’s becoming interpreted as the biblical ‘forbidden fruit’ in the commonly used Latin translation called “Vulgate”. The larynx in the human throat has been called Adam’s apple because of the folk tale that the bulge was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in the throat of Adam. The apple as symbol of sexual seduction has sometimes been used to imply sexuality between men, possibly in an ironic vein.
The notion of the apple as a symbol of sin is reflected in artistic renderings of the fall from Eden. When held in Adam’s hand, the apple symbolises sin. But, when Christ is portrayed holding an apple, he represents the Second Adam who brings life. This difference reflects the evolution of the symbol in Christianity. In the Old Testament, the apple was significant of the fall of man; in the New Testament, it is an emblem of the redemption from that fall. The apple is represented in pictures of the Madonna and Infant Jesus as another sign of that redemption.
In some versions (such as Young’s Literal Translation) of the Bible, the Hebrew word for mandrakes dudaim (Genesis 30:14) is translated as “love apples” (not to be confused with the New World tomatoes). There are several instances in the Old Testament where the apple is used in a more favourable light. The phrase ‘the apple of your eye’ comes from verses in Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalm 17:8 Proverbs 7:2, and Zechariah 2:8, implying an object or person who is greatly valued. In Proverbs 25:11, the verse states, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. In the love songs of the Somg of Solomon, the apple is used in a sensual context. In these latter instances, the apple is used as a symbol for beauty. The apple appears again in Joel 1:12 in a verse with a sense of profound loss when the apple tree withers. During the Jewish New Year – [Rosh Hashanah] – it is customary to eat apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.
It is a long-standing tradition in many tribal communities that the first born child of any couple shall be presented with an apple randomly picked from a tree by their paternal grandparents on the day of their birth. If the chosen apple is sliced open and revealed to have a worm inside, it is a bad omen and on their 21st birthday, the child must perform a dance to the fruit gods to spare the lives of their own offspring.
The Greek hero Heracles, as a part of his Twelve Labours, was required to travel to the Garden of the Hesperides and pick the golden apples off the Tree of Life growing at its center.
Atalanta, also of Greek mythology, raced all her suitors in an attempt to avoid marriage. She outran all but Hippomenes (a.k.a. Melanion, a name possibly derived from melon the Greek word for both “apple” and fruit in general), who defeated her by cunning, not speed. Hippomenes knew that he could not win in a fair race, so he used three golden apples (gifts of Aphrodite, the goddess of love) to distract Atalanta. It took all three apples and all of his speed, but Hippomenes was finally successful, winning the race and Atalanta’s hand.
The Greek goddess of discord, Eris, became disgruntled after she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. In retaliation, she tossed a golden apple inscribed Kallisti (‘For the most beautiful one’), into the wedding party. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient. After being bribed by both Hera and Athena, Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. He awarded the apple to Aphrodite, thus indirectly causing the Trojan War.
In Norse mythology, the goddess Iðunn was the appointed keeper of golden apples that kept the Æsir young (or immortal) forever. Iðunn was abducted by Þjazi the giant, who used Loki to lure Iðunn and her apples out of Ásgarðr. The Æsir began to age without Iðunn’s apples, so they coerced Loki into rescuing her. After borrowing Freyja’s falcon skin, Loki liberated Iðunn from Þjazi by transforming her into a nut for the flight back. Þjazi gave chase in the form of an eagle, whereupon reaching Ásgarðr he was set aflame by a bonfire lit by the Æsir. With the return of Iðunn’s apples, the Æsir regained their lost youth. Apple trees were the symbol of rebirth and beauty; the apple tree was sacred in Norse mythology.
Allantide (Cornish: Kalan Gwav, meaning first day of winter) is a Cornish festival that was traditionally celebrated on the night of 31 October, as well as the following day time. One of the most important parts of this festival was the giving of Allan apples, large glossy red apples that were highly polished, to family and friends as tokens of good luck. Allan apple markets used to be held throughout West Cornwall in the run up to the feast. and in the town of St Just it surpassed Christmas as a time for giving gifts until the late 20th century. A game was also recorded in which two pieces of wood were nailed together in the shape of a cross. It was then suspended, with 4 lit candles on each arm and Allan apples suspended underneath. The aim being to catch the apples with your mouth without getting molten wax on your face. For unmarried recipients the apples would be placed under their pillows in the hope that they would bring dreams of their future wife or husband.
iPhoneOgraphy – 07 Nov 2016 (Day 312/366)
The pomegranate, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 8 m (16 and 26 ft) tall.
The fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact arils or juice, pomegranates are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.
The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and California, by Spanish settlers, in 1769.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of Southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
The name pomegranate derives from Medieval Latin pōmum “apple” and grānātum “seeded”. Perhaps stemming from the old French word for the fruit, pomme-grenade, the pomegranate was known in early English as “apple of Grenada” – a term which today survives only in heraldic blazons. This is a folk etymology, confusing the Latin granatus with the name of the Spanish city of Granada, which derives from Arabic.
Garnet derives from Old French grenat by metathesis, from Medieval Latin granatum as used in a different meaning “of a dark red color”. This derivation may have originated from pomum granatum, describing the color of pomegranate pulp, or from granum, referring to “red dye, cochineal”.
The French term for pomegranate, grenade, has given its name to the military grenade.
iPhoneOgraphy – 30 Aug 2016 (Day 243/366)
The purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), colloquially known simply as mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, southwest India and other tropical areas such as Puerto Rico and Florida, where the tree has been introduced. The tree grows from 6 to 25 m (19.7 to 82.0 ft) tall. The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous, with fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits), with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind (exocarp) when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e., the inner layer of the ovary. Seeds are almond-shaped and sized.
The purple mangosteen belongs to the same genus as the other, less widely known, mangosteens, such as the button mangosteen (G. prainiana) or the charichuelo (G. madruno).
Mangosteen is a native plant to Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. Highly valued for its juicy, delicate texture and slightly sweet and sour flavour, the mangosteen has been cultivated in Java, Sumatra, Mainland Southeast Asia, and the Philippines since ancient times. The 15th-century Chinese record Yingyai Shenglan described mangosteen as mang-chi-shih (derived from Javanese manggis), a native plant of Java of white flesh with delectable sweet and sour taste.
A description of mangosteen was included in the Species Plantarum by Linnaeus in 1753. The mangosteen was introduced into English greenhouses in 1855. Subsequently its culture was introduced into the Western Hemisphere, where it became established in West Indies islands, especially Jamaica. It was later established on the Americas mainland in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Ecuador. The mangosteen tree generally does not grow well outside the tropics.
There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit. Although this legend can be traced to a 1930 publication by the fruit explorer, David Fairchild, it is not substantiated by any known historical document, yet is probably responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the “Queen of Fruit”.
In his publication, “Hortus Veitchii”, James Herbert Veitch says he visited Java in 1892, “to eat the Mangosteen. It is necessary to eat the Mangosteen grown within three or four degrees of latitude of the equator to realize at all the attractive and curious properties of this fruit.”
The journalist and gourmet R. W. Apple, Jr. once said of the fruit, “No other fruit, for me, is so thrillingly, intoxicatingly luscious…I’d rather eat one than a hot fudge sundae, which for a big Ohio boy is saying a lot.” Since 2006, private small-volume orders for fruits grown in Pierto Rico were sold to American specialty food stores and gourmet restaurants who serve the flesh segments as a delicacy dessert.
Dragon fruits are widely consumed in Asian countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. They are also popular in Mexico and in central and South America. The other name for this fruit is Pitaya or Pitahaya. The fruit is obtained from several cactus species, but the most important is the one obtained from the genus Hylocereus (sweet pitayas). Hylocereus or sweet pitayas come with a creamy pulp and a delicate aroma. Dragon fruits are rich in antioxidants. They help prevent the formation of carcinogenic free-radicals. They (especially red-skinned pitayas) are packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C ensures fast healing of bruises and cuts and helps improve the function of the immune system. Vitamin B2 acts as a multivitamin and helps improve your appetite. Vitamin B1 plays an important role in the production of energy as it promotes metabolism of carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 lowers bad cholesterol level and enhances the appearance of the skin by making it moist and smooth. The seeds of the fruit contain high polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fruits help get rid of heavy metal toxins from the body. They help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. They work great for asthma and cough. Carotene obtained from the fruits helps maintain and improve the health of the eyes. Proteins from the fruit help enhance metabolic processes in the body. The fruit serves as a food substitute for rice, especially for the diabetics. It can be used as cosmetic and health material, as it improves eyesight and prevents hypertension. It is a good material for beverages, delicious vegetable dishes, as it comes with high nutrition, low heat and vitamin C. The fruits are rich in minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus. Calcium reinforces bones and helps in the formation of healthy teeth. Phosphorus aids in tissue formation. These fruits are low in calories and high in fiber. They help avoid constipation by acting as natural laxatives. They help improve the overall digestive health of a person. Fiber from the fruits enhances the process of digestion and helps control accumulation of fats. Regular consumption of fresh or dried dragon fruit helps maintain the health. The fruit comes in three varieties – red skin with red flesh (widely considered to be the best-tasting), red skin with white flesh and yellow skin with white flesh. Dragon fruit plant has strong roots and is good at water conserving. It can be cultivated easily. It is also good at heat and drought resisting. So growing these fruits is quite easy and economical. The fruits have a leathery, leafy red skin. One dragon fruit can weigh from 150-600 grams. It can be described as mildly sweet and is best served cold. To eat it, you should simply cut it in half, and then, scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The skin may not be eaten. The little black seeds can be eaten along with the flesh, just like a kiwi fruit. The middle of the fruit is the sweetest part of the fruit.
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