A big apple evening

APPLE-ICATION “Celebrating the American Apple” was the theme for the annual fall dinner party attended by faculty, majors and minors in the African American and American cultural studies programs on Nov. 10, 2008. The guest speaker was John Bunker Jr., author of Not Far From the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples of Palermo, Maine; 1804-2004(shown at left, with faculty member Myron Beasley). The pommologist’s concise history of the Maine apple reached back to the fruit’s arrival here around the 16th century — and, Bunker noted, descendants of those first trees growing on Maine islands continue to produce fruit unique in the United States. Most of the thousands of named apple varieties present in the 19th century have been lost, a continuing shrinkage that has led Bunker to preserve a number of heirloom types. The dinner menu explored the appeal in “apple”: apple slaw with raisins, pork medallions with an apple and walnut stuffing, duck breasts drenched in apple juices and an apple cake