Apples have always been a popular harbinger of fall, but in the early 19th-century they were the most commonly consumed and most popular fruit in New England. That’s not surprising considering apples were planted as soon as settlers arrived from Europe.
The average farm had orchards containing anywhere from 100 to 300 apple trees, according to information from Old Sturbridge Village. But the types of apples cultivated then, would not be familiar to today’s shoppers. Varieties such as winter, Porter, Pearmain, and Sopsavine apples, are few and far between today. Which may be a good thing, because most apples grown then were “keepers,” dried or stored in dirt cellars for use throughout the year.