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Apples probably originated in central Asia from the species Malus sieversii, which can still be found wild growing near the Caspian Sea. The Romans introduced it to Britain, and had already developed varieties for keeping (which they stored in well-ventilated lofts) and others for immediate consumption. They also sliced them and dried them in the sun, for future use.
Apples were certainly popular in medieval times, when a large variety called the "Costard" led to the term costermonger (now meaning a general fruit-seller). These early varieties were probably rather sharp, as until Victorian nurserymen started breeding new varieties by grafting, the fruit was preferred after it had been kept alive to mellow. In fact in medieval times apples (and indeed pears) were more often than not served roasted - perhaps with sugar and either fennel or aniseed.
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