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Roxbury Russet Apples
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Roxbury Russet apples are the oldest known apple variety native to North America, traced back to Roxbury, Massachusetts prior to 1635. These apples are medium to large fruit with green-yellow, sometimes bronze tinged skin with a rough, yellow-brown russet. Roxbury Russets have a firm yet tender, slightly coarse, yellow-white flesh with a high sugar content that presents in an aftertaste of honey. Roxbury Russet apples are great for cider, fresh eating, and hold their shape well when cooked.
Roxbury Russet apples are available in the fall and throughout the early winter months.
Roxbury Russets are an old American variety of apple (Malus domestica). Its parentage is not known, but is of European stock. They are also called Boston Russets and Leather Coats, along with a host of other names.
Apples contain at least small amounts of many nutrients, including Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous, iron, folate, and potassium. They have larger amounts of Vitamin C and both soluble and insoluble fiber. The largest amounts of nutrients are located in and just under an apple's skin.
This a very versatile, all-purpose apple. Roxbury Russets are excellent dessert apples, but are also wonderful cooked, baked, or juiced. They were traditionally used to make hard cider as well. They keep well under cool and dry conditions for three months or longer.
Roxbury Russets are celebrated for their versatility and fine flavor, as well as their heritage. They are the first of the named varieties of American apples, ushering in the early age of colonial apple growing, which eventually stretched across the continent and encompassed thousands of varieties.
Of all the American varieties of apples, Roxbury Russets are thought to be the very first. They were first grown as a seedling planted in Roxbury, Massachusetts (now a part of Boston), brought from Europe by colonists in the 1630s.