A pomegranate (Punica granatum).
1926 Millville Daily Republican (NJ) 15 Oct 7/4, [Advt:] Pomegranates or Chinese Apples 3 for 25c. 1942 Morning Call (Paterson NJ) 27 Nov 15/4, Currently he [=“the American boy”] is engaged in spinning yo-yos, eating chinese apples (pomegranates to you) and romping in every available space with a football. 1951 Pottstown Mercury (PA) 21 Dec /7, There was always a paper sack filled with almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts; . . and, if you were real good, a pomegranate, or Chinese apple as they were known. The Chinky apple . . invariably ended up in the snow on the window sill to chill. 1954 Philadelphia Inquirer Pub. Ledger (PA) 1 Dec 3/3, One of our more learned friends drove up to the place that night . . and was astonished to see a dwindling basket of bright fruit labeled “Chinese apples.” . . “Why, Charlie,” said our friend, “those things are pomegranates!” “I know,” said Charlie, “and if the sign said pomegranates I’d still have three bushels of them. What kind of a neighborhood you think this is—a lot of Persians?” 1958 Pottstown Mercury (PA) 3 Oct 18/3, [Advt:] Chinese Apples “Dainty Red Seeds” 15c each. 1971 Los Angeles Times (CA) 21 Oct sec VI 21, [Advt:] Kids call them Chinese apples—Pomegranates ea. 5¢. 1977 Akron Beacon Jrl. (OH) 19 Oct sec F 11, [Advt:] Fresh California, fiery red (Chinese apples) Large Pomegranates 4 for $1. 1980 DARE File NYC (as of 1948), Chinese apple = pomegranate. 1992 Sun (Baltimore MD) 25 Oct adv sec, Ito Extra Large•Chinese Apples—Red Pomegranates Each .69. 1996 Record (Hackensack NJ) 10 Jan sec F 1/1, “My son brought home a Chinese apple from the supermarket,” a reader imparted. “It’s awful, just awful. The flesh is so bitter, and there’s nothing but seeds on the inside!” c2005 in 2019 DARE File—Internet NYC, I was born in 1928 New York City, (Manhattan’s East Side-Yorkville) never knew fruit as “pomegranate” until move to Florida in 2003. Ibid Philadelphia PA, I was born in 1940 & spent 20 yrs. in the Richmond section of Philadelphia. Until a few years ago I always referred to what they now call pomegrantes [sic] as chinese apples. Ibid Chicago IL, I was born in Chicago and we called them chinese apples. Ibid DC, I grew up in Washington, D.C. in the 80’s and 90’s and knew these fruit as Chinese apples. 2012 News Leader (Staunton VA) 21 Dec 1/1, “We called them Chinese apples!” Toni Acker remembered, as Russell mentioned pomegranates.