The Apple Orchard: The Story of Our Most English Fruit

The Blurb

‘The vivid brightness of the laden trees, studded with jewels, stirs some deep race memory and makes the heart leap. Here is bounty, and excitement’.

Journeying through the seasons in England’s apple-growing heartlands, Pete Brown uncovers the history, magic and folklore of our most familiar fruit, showing its unique and surprisingly important place in our lives.


Behind The Blurb

This book arose out of a very simple passion ignited by my previous book, World’s Best Cider. Writing that book, Bill and I spent a few autumns in orchards among cider makers, and I got to do that again the following year when the book came out and we were on the road promoting it. And then, suddenly, I didn’t have a reason to go to orchards any more, and I missed them terribly. So I decided to write the story of the apple as an excuse to spend more time in these environments I’d grown to love.

Having had the idea, I mistakenly thought I’d already got most of the book ready. A book like World’s Best Cider doesn’t lend itself to long passages of flowing, lyrical description, but I’d written them anyway, and had them on the metaphorical cutting room floor. But of course, I soon found that my interest in cider was only telling me half the story, if that.

It’s hard not to refer to this as a cider book, and people do so all the time. Even I do occasionally. But cider only really plays a supporting role. This is a book about apples, magic, myth, history, England – and a spritual awakening of sorts.



The Apple Orchard was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in November 2016.


Best Drinks Book, Andre Simon Awards 2017


Best Food Book, Fortnum & Mason Awards 2017


Best Food Book, Guild of Food Writers Awards 2017