Getting to the core of it

The apple has always been one of my favorite fruits, not to mention a part of my childhood.

I just never knew I was eating it the wrong way all these years.

More on that later.

Apples and I really do go back quite a bit. I’m sure, even as a baby, some of the mushed food prepared for me was apples.

But my real introduction to apples came in our back yard on Grandview Drive. A lot of that area was at one time an apple orchard and many of the apple trees were still fruit bearing and healthy when we moved there, including four or five in our back yard.

That all sounds well and good. You could always find a fresh apple to eat and didn’t have to go to the market or grocery store to purchase it. Just step into the back yard and pluck one off the tree.

We did that often, too, and many times Mom would fry up a mess of those apples. Wow! That was some good eating.

But the worst part about apple trees is all those apples don’t stay on the tree. Remember, we had healthy apple trees and when the clumps got too big for the branches, they fell to the ground.

Have you ever tried to mow the lawn around a bunch of apple trees, where apples have fallen to the ground? Take my advice. Don’t try it. You’ll have smoother rides on a Pogo stick.

And there’s nothing that attracts bees more than a bunch of rotten apples. Those beautiful green apples turned a hideous brown within a few days of hitting the ground.

Before we mowed the lawn, we had to pick up apples. Hundreds of apples. Maybe thousands (OK, hundreds).

We would have garbage bags full of rotten apples by the time we were finished. And then we had to cut the grass where they once laid. It was a monumental task for me and my brother most of the time.

Besides having them at my disposal to eat whenever I wished, that cleanup experience kind of, uh, soured me and my brother on the whole apple experience.

Rotten to the core? Some of them were.

Oh, I still liked them and wouldn’t usually turn down a big Red Delicious or Granny Smith if offered.

I still like them, even if those memories of picking up apples off the ground with a million Yellowjackets buzzing around kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.

We used to have apple fights in the neighborhood, too. The only thing worse than getting stung by a Yellowjacket sitting inside a rotten apple was getting plunked by one from somebody throwing them at you from about 30 feet. We used garbage can lids as shields, but it was never totally protective (“If you can dodge an apple, you can dodge a ball,” to paraphrase the crazy coach from the “Dodgeball” movie.)

Of course, dodging apples improved my dexterity and firing these apples back maybe enhanced my arm strength and control for pitching in baseball. So there was an upside.

So me and apples, even though we have a history, we’ve been mostly good for each other.

But it wasn’t until this week that I was shown the secret (via the Facebook and the Internet) to how you correctly eat an apple.

Do you eat your apple from the side, like corn on the cob, and throw away the core?

If so, you’re eating it the wrong way.

Go from bottom to top, or top to bottom, and you’ll waste practically nothing but a few seeds. The core of the apple seemingly disappears while you’re eating. I’m not kidding.

I tried it on Monday and it was like solving the Rubik Cube. I ate my apple from bottom to top and, aside from a few seeds (And, relax, it’s not like an apple tree is going to grow in your belly), gulped down the whole piece of fruit. The core was never seen.

I’ve told people this treasure for years and they all are looking at me like I’ve eaten an apple filled with worms.

But I’m telling you, try it.

The average person, when eating an apple the wrong way, throws away roughly 30 percent of the apple. There is no waste, save for a couple of seeds, if you eat it the right way.

Bottoms up — or tops down if you prefer — the next time you bite into a Red Delicious.

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