Narratively speaking, apples are a study in opposites. All at once, they represent love and longing, betrayal and beginnings, wisdom and innocence, guilt and guile.
In Norse mythology, the gods ate golden apples to live forever. According to Greek, a golden apple starts a war that nearly destroys not only the world of men but the godly pantheon. In Christian lore, Eve taking a bite of the forbidden fruit and convincing Adam to do the same is a metaphor for sexual awakening and loss of innocence, while German folklore affirms a young princess’s goodness and purity with the bite of a poisoned apple.
Although the apple’s reputation has roots in classic literature, the fruit has really flourished in modern pop culture. If a character, usually an antagonist, wants to prove their irreverence or confidence they bite an apple. Usually as emphasis during a conversation. If they really want to prove a point, they throw it away half-eaten. Apples might not be as explicitly suggestive to eat as a peach or cherry, all plump and juicy, but the offer of an apple from one character to another is often an invitation for something unspoken. Sometimes it’s power, sometimes it’s sex, sometimes it’s a call to adventure, but it’s likely more than just an apple being offered.
Apple pies are wholesome. Until they’re not. Applewood is used to make coffins, never boats. Apple blossoms symbolize fertility and enduring love. One bad apple spoils the bunch.
No other fruit has quite the reputation of an apple.
No other fruit is imbued with quite as much subtext.
And it’s all about the delivery. Do you need to imply Character A is evil? Have them loom over Character B with an apple, shining it on their shirt while B looks on hungrily. Is Character A trying to be intentionally rude? The crisp crunch of someone biting into an apple while Character B is trying to talk or do something important might be sufficiently distracting. Do you need to foreshadow a terrible death? Have that character unknowingly bite into a rotten apple.
By choosing the imagery of an apple, you’re tapping into everything your audience knows about apples, consciously or not. They’ll bring their own associations, their own prior experiences which you can use or use against them.
And that’s the same choice you’re making every time you write. You have to think about what your audience is already familiar with and what will be foreign to them. What will you have to spend extra time explaining? What can you leave unsaid?
There is no perfect writing technique. No right or wrong way to tell a story. There are only words and imagery and the meaning we ascribe to them.
However, do keep in mind that although there are cultures that call oranges “golden apples,” having your antagonist painstakingly pick away at an orange while monologuing will not have the same effect as having them cut into a shiny red apple with a knife.