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Roxbury Russet Apple Delivery or Pickup

The Instacart guide to Roxbury Russet apple products


About Roxbury Russet apples

The Roxbury Russet apple first appeared during the mid-1600s in the Massachusetts Bay Colony town of Roxbury, a few miles southwest of Boston. Roxbury Russet apple trees are among the oldest cultivar bred in the United States. Other common names for the Roxbury Russet apple include Boston Russet, Putnam Russet, and Sylvan Russet.

Roxbury Russet apples have a green-gray skin with plenty of coarse russet color. The yellow-green flesh of the Roxbury Russet has a firm, rough texture and a sweet-tart flavor that tastes great eaten fresh or when used in cooking. The Roxbury Russet's initial appeal was its keeping ability, an essential characteristic in the age before refrigeration. Roxbury Russet apples make great cider and juice, another sought-after feature of the period.

Today, Russet apples are out of favor, mainly because they have a dull color and mottled face that doesn't look as good as the bright and shiny apple varieties now available. However, the flavor has consistently been above average. Roxbury Russet apples are grown predominantly by heirloom specialists yet still find their way into grocery stores and farmers markets across the U.S. Northeast.

The wood propagating Roxbury Russet trees first underwent grafting in Connecticut in 1649. Thomas Jefferson helped the propagation along in 1778 when he planted Roxbury Russet trees in Monticello's South Orchard. 

Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam grew Roxbury Russet apples on his farm in Pomfret, Connecticut, hence the name Putnam Russet. Putnam's grandson, also named Israel Putnam, brought the Roxbury Russet to the Ohio Valley in 1796, along with approximately two dozen other apple varieties. 

As the oldest apple cultivar in the United States, the Roxbury Russet was likely a seedling brought over by European settlers. Perhaps one fascinating aspect of North American apple development was how few of the original European varieties could adapt and thrive in the environment. Instead, seedlings of European varieties were better suited to the climate and further propagated. The fact that apples do not grow true from seed made this propagation possible.

Roxbury Russet Apple Near Me

Buy your favorite roxbury russet apple online with Instacart. Order roxbury russet apple from local and national retailers near you and enjoy on-demand, contactless delivery or pickup within 2 hours.

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FAQs About Roxbury Russet Apple

Yes. Although thicker and coarser than other apple varieties, you can still eat the skin. You should wash your Roxbury Russet apple first before eating. An apple eaten with the skin has 50% more phytonutrients than the flesh alone. Apple skins are good sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients linked to many health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain types of cancers in the body.

Yes. Like any fruit grown outdoors, apples get exposed to the elements where dirt and debris can collect. Also, apples produce a natural wax-like coating to prevent moisture loss and protect the apple from insects. This natural coating has a milky-white color, giving the apple a dull appearance, but it's harmless if ingested. A simple rub with a clean cloth will remove this coating and restore a natural shine to your apple.

Some farmers add a synthetic coat of wax designed to protect the apples from damage during shipping and storage. These secondary coats usually consist of natural components derived from plants. Some waxes are synthetic polymers or petroleum-based and developed in labs. A gentle scrub in cool water should remove the wax.
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