After the very first American apple, the Roxbury Russet, appeared outside Boston around 1630, there grew to be an estimated 7,098 varieties of the fruit available in United States. Over the years, however, many have gone out of fashion or been almost lost. In his new book, "Apples of Uncommon Character," writer Rowan Jacobsen rediscovers our country’s apple diversity: He personally tasted 500 varieties of the fruit to see what all of us have been missing (a lot, apparently). —Yaran Noti

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