Friday, May 15, 2009

Keep the Doctor Away

What's that, you say? What's the deal with you and apples? Well, since you asked...

The name Milillo means "Little Apple" in Italian ("mili" - Apple, "illo"- little). When I learned this in May of 2005, I started using "Red Delicious" as a joke monniker, although Red Delicious apples are not known for being particularly large or small, but the cultivar itself is reknowned for being resistant to disease, which becomes important later in its formation around my self-identity.

Apples can be helpful in preventing dementia, lowering cholesterol, decreasing cancer risk in the lungs, colon, and prostate, and eaten regularly, help keep your weight under control (of course, if you eat lots of apples, you're probably less inclined to consume buckets of lard).

Although it was right there in front of my face, I never realized how important apples were in the cultural consiousness. In Norse mythology, they are associated with eternal youth, and in Greek mythology, they are a forbidden fruit. The Judeo-Christian story is likely well-known among this readership.

An apple, according to legend, got Isaac Newton started. Apples are also strongly associated with Louisa May Alcott, whom many of you know I slept with once. Johnny Appleseed (who lived in the area now known as Ohio, which is where you'll find the bulk of the Milillo cultivar) is a key figure in early American folklore, and one of our nation's first animal-rights activits.

After China and the United States, Italy is known as one of the world's leading producers of apples. The name Milillo orginates in Siracusa, a port town on the eastern-most tip of Sicily. Siracusa is where the black death entered Europe. Because our name persists, I find myself bragging baselessley and often about the Milillo's superior immune system (there it is). I enjoy thinking about the original Milillo's as apple farmers, tending their orchards in the hills just beyond the seaside outside of Siracusa, living a simple, peaceful existence. Sure, I know that Sicily carries a stigma, but my people at their core were likely peasant folk. Sure, there may have been the occasional bad one, but don't let them spoil the bunch.

The fruit of knowledge, this vital fruit, this ancient staple of man's diet - it is who I am. Knowing this makes me feel connected to the world, and better about my place in it.

All for now.

1 comment:

Jack Tomas said...

You should read Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire. He examines human history through examining four plants and what we get from them. apples are one of them. it's interesting stuff.

Also, apple computer's logo is the apple with the bite taken out of it. The gave birth to this here personal computer thing which is knowledge unleashed...and porn.