The ancient Kazakh city of Almaty, 'Mother of Apples', owes its name to the forests of wild apples found naturally in the area.
Apples were very important in many ancient cultures, including Norse, Roman and Greek beliefs. See Pleiades and Idun for examples.
Although the "fruit" in the religious book of Genesis is not identified, popular European Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Adam and Eve ate. This tradition was probably solidified by artistic renderings of the fall from Eden featuring an apple; some kind of fruit had to be pictured and the apple was probably the most familiar fruit to the artists. The larynx in the human throat has been called Adam's apple because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in the throat of Adam.
In some cultures, the apple is a symbol of immortality, love, or sexuality. The Greek hero Heracles had to find the Hesperides' golden apples as one of his Twelve Labors. Another Greek mythological figure, Paris, had to give a golden apple (which came from the goddess of discord, Eris) to the most beautiful goddess, indirectly causing the Trojan War, while Atalanta was distracted during a race by three golden apples thrown for that purpose by a suitor, Hippomenes. In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at a person's bed was an invitation for sexual intercourse. Celtic mythology includes a story about Conle who receives an apple which feeds him for a year but also makes him irresistibly desire fairyland. Another story claims that if an apple is peeled into one continuous ribbon and thrown behind a woman's shoulder, it will land in the shape of the future husband's initials. Danish folklore says that apples wither around adulterers.
In some places, dunking for apples is a traditional Halloween activity. Apples are said to increase a woman's chances of conception as well as remove birthmarks when rubbed on the skin. They are commonly considered healthy, leading to the proverb an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In the United States, Denmark and Sweden, an apple is a traditional gift for a teacher.