The apple originated in the Far East and came to the West as a secret passenger of trading caravans. Apple cores were thrown onto the roadside after which the seeds germinated and grew into wild apple trees with small red sour apples. Apple trees were raised along the Nile in the 12th century B.C. and from there, expanded to Greece and Italy and later to Europe. The apple was highly valued during the Middle Ages - it was readily available and cheap. It was also used as the equivalent of a toothbrush for a long period of time.