Yikes. Customs change over time, but still... I've read about this interesting practice a few times (Desmond Morris mentions it in one of his books), but never more thanjust the passing reference. Evidently, Elizabethan ladies would carry a peeled apple tucked up there during the day and bestow it upon their suitor as a treat. He would show his love by eating it.
I don't know. Certainly, it's possible those guys had a sort of fetish for the taste and odor. Look at all the guys who lose their cool over feet. But I have to wonder if this was a sort of prank that caught on and the women were chuckling to themselves, "Oh, he's hooked. I've not only got him under my thumb, he's up in my armpit."
Customs Not Likely To Make a Big Comeback Department!