[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 23, 1968


JAMA. 1968;206(13):2891. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150130049014

The discovery (1963) of the "cheese reaction" gave the half-lie to Eugene Field's dictum that "the best of all physicians is apple pie and cheese." Clearly, cheese has been anything but beneficial to individuals receiving monoamine oxidase inhibiting tranquilizers. Apple pie, however, could still claim medicinal virtues. After all, its major ingredient is the apple—and, we all know whom an apple a day keeps away.

Just how the apple became identified in the public eye with good living and good health is not too clear. In ancient times it was anything but salubrious. Indeed, it seems to have been associated with hidden peril, as reflected in the "forbidden" fruit (presumably an apple) which led to the fall of man, in the apple of discord which caused the Trojan War, in the apples of Hesperides responsible for many deaths and for an exhaustive eleventh labor of Hercules, and in the apple