Knobby Russet Apple
Inventory, lb : 0
The Knobby Russet apple is medium sized and has a very distinct appearance. Knobby, or sometimes Knobbly, Russet apples are irregularly shaped with bumps and knobs; it is asymmetrical and may have a very un-apple-like appearance. Some have said the Knobby Russet looks more like a potato than an apple. The skin is yellow-green and mottled, with rough russet spots. The surface of the Knobby Russet is covered in lenticels, or pores, that also signal an apple’s level of sweetness. The lenticels themselves are also a dark russet. The light cream colored flesh of the Knobby Russet is fine-teextured and dense; it is not particularly juicy. It has a rich, sweet flavor with hints of spice and citrus.
Knobby Russet apples are available in the mid-fall and through late winter.
Knobby Russet apples are a unique and somewhat odd-looking variety of Malus domestica. The outward appearance of the heirloom apple is a stark contrast to its delicious texture and flavor. These apples are also known as Knobbed or Winter Russets. Knobby Russet apples have traditionally been used to make apple cider.
Knobby Russet apples are nutrient rich, and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps the digestive system work properly and protects against heart disease. Apples also contain vitamin C, especially near the skin, as well as small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, and vitamin A.
Knobby Russets apples are most often used for fresh eating and making cider. The apple's complex flavor pairs well with strong cheeses. Knobby Russet apples do not brown as quickly as other apple varieties, so are ideal for fresh applications like salads or crudité. The heirloom apples offer a complex flavor to any application, whether sweet or savory. Knobby Russet apples store well and will keep for several months in the refrigerator or other cool, dry place.
In the United Kingdom, efforts have been made to resurrect some of the old, heirloom varieties that were grown in Sussex over a century ago and had since almost been forgotten. A Knobby Russet tree was planted in Brighton Permaculture Trust's National Collection in 2010, taking its place among some 30 different varieties. These trees serve as a ‘living library’ for researchers whose focus is to conserve heirloom and rare apples native to Sussex.
The Knobby Russet was first grown in Sussex, England in 1819. It was brought to the London Horticultural Society in 1820 by a man named Haslar Capron from the Sussex town of Midhurst in southern Britain. The knobbed, russeted apple is not a heavy producer. The Knobby Russet apple is grown at Stanmer Park near Brighton in Sussex. It is one of the few trees in existence today. A few trees are also reportedly being cultivated in New England in the United States.