James Rich's credentials for writing a book about one of the nation's most popular fruits are strong. He is the son of a cider maker who grew up in Somerset, the heart of apple-growing territory. He spent his formative years helping family members plant trees, pick fruit and press juice ready for the fermenting process.
As he says: "What my family doesn't know about the famous apple, quite simply, isn't worth knowing." Rich, who now divides his time between Somerset and London working as a food writer, certainly puts his knowledge to good use. Alongside a brief introduction on the history of the apple, he explains the qualities of the most popular cooking and eating types among the 2,500 varieties grown in the UK.
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