History speaks for itself. Juicy red apples have been since the roman times. Even Cleopatra has been shown consuming it. So tracing its history would be a Herculean task. Regarding its cultivation, Kashmir in India is a synonym for apples. Himachal Pradesh comes a close second.
From the botanical perspective
Belonging to the rose family, apples are the entire receptacle, which is eaten as fruit. The receptacle becomes swollen, juicy and fleshy to impart the characteristic feel to the fruit. Fresh apples have a refreshing aroma associated with them.