The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat apples. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What apple etiquette is
Apple etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat apples. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow apple etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect apple etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about apples
An apple is an edible fruit from the eponymous tree. Over 7,000 varieties of apples exist. The apple trees are cultivated worldwide. China is the major producer, accounting for 50% of the apples in commerce.
Apples are round in shape. Their skin is smooth, with colors that range from yellow, to green or red. In general, apples are sweet in taste, with acidic notes. The texture is crispy and juicy. Inside, apples have a few small seeds.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat apples
1) How to store apples
Store whole apples out of the fridge if they are not ripe. Store them in a cool place. Away from sources of heat or direct light. Keep them there for 2 to 3 days, until they ripen. Out of the fridge, apples can last for up to 5 or 7 days.
It is best to store ripe apples in the fridge. Avoid placing them in a sealed container. Do not wrap them in plastic. They will last about 4 or 6 weeks. Sliced apples can last up to 2 or 4 days.
In the freezer, apples can last for 10 or 12 months.
2) How to clean apples
Always wash an uncut apple before eating it or slicing it. Even a quick wash decreases the risk of contamination from pesticides or other chemicals.
Place the apples in a bowl of water. Leave them there for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, wash them under running water. Dry them on a kitchen cloth.
3) How to prepare apples
Every part of the apple is edible, except the seed. The skin and the core are edible, but it is common to discard them.
Cut the apple into quarters with a knife. With a knife, remove the core, the seeds, and the skin. Chop the apple into chunks, then serve it or cook.
Apples are perfect for salads or fruit salads. Bake them in tarts, crumbles, or pies. Mix them with yogurt and cereal. Add them on top of ice cream. Use them to make fresh juice, smoothies, or sauces.
Apples go well in savory dishes too. They can combine well with roast meat.
Squeeze lemon juice over sliced apples to prevent them from turning dark.
4) How to serve & present apples
You can serve apples for breakfast, as a snack, or as a fruit course after a meal. Apples can accompany savory dishes, such as roasted meat or cheese platters.
If you serve apples whole, do not remove the skin. Serve them washed, in a serving bowl.
If you serve apples in chunks, it is ideal to remove the skin before serving. Present sliced apples with a serving spoon. You can accompany them with sugar or ice cream.
Alternatively, you can serve sliced apples in small individual cups.
Serve apples at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge between 1 and 2 hours before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair apples with
You can combine the aroma of the apples with many flavors. Cinnamon. Caramel. Ginger. Mint. Honey. Black pepper. Apples can match savory flavors too. Try them with cured or roasted meat, such as pork.
Apples go well with dairy and cheeses. Serve them with Kefir, yogurt, or Mascarpone. Present apples to accompany cheeses. Stilton or Gorgonzola. Parmigiano, Grana, or Pecorino. Taleggio or Camembert. Gruyère, Emmental, or Gouda.
Apples are ideal for fruit salads. Combine them with citric fruits, such as lemon, lime, or orange. Berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Other stone fruits, like apricots or plums.
They pair well with nuts too. Such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts.
You can pair apples with red, white, or Rosé wine. Red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, or Merlot. White wine, like Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. Alternatively, pair apples with sparkling wine, such as Champagne, or fortified wine, such as Madeira.
6) How to eat apples
When apples are served whole, place one on your plate. Cut the apple into quarters with a knife. With a knife, remove the core, the seeds, and the skin. Eat the apple with a fork and a knife.
Eat a whole apple in bites only on very informal occasions.
If the apples are served in chunks, eat them with a small spoon or a fork.
Apple etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst apple etiquette mistakes.
- 8/10. Serving spoiled apples.
- 8/10. Serving unwashed apples.
- 7/10. Eating apples in bites on formal occasions.
- 7/10. Serving unripe apples.
Additional information for properly serving apples
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Apples contain 52 calories per 100 grams. An average raw apple weighs around 180 grams and contains around 95 calories.
How to buy the best apples
A crucial factor in apple etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Apples are available all year round.
Choose the best
Ripe apples should have a fragrant aroma. The skin should not be wrinkled, bruised, or too soft.
Alternatives to apples
Pears are valid substitutes for their fragrant texture and aroma.