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The word "russet" refers to the rough and dull skin found on some apple varieties, older varieties in particular. This rarely found on modern apples because it has been bred out over many decades.

In the majority of cases a russet apple will not have the crunchy flesh of other apples, it will be be more dense and moist. In some cases, Egremont Russet is a good example, the flavour is far more developed and pronounced. The reasons for this are discussed below.

Russets are well worth growing in UK gardens especially because they are rarely sold in supermarkets.


COMMON VARIETIES OF RUSSET APPLES


Not all russet apple varieties are the same in appearance, taste or texture. Even the term "russet" is not clearly defined. However we list below in alphabetic order the common russet varieties with short notes.

ADAMS PEARMAIN
Partial russet, good flavour, eating apple, keeps for 6 weeks, good disease resistance.

ASHMEAD'S KERNEL
A good russet over most of the apple with a taste that is rated in the top ten out of all apples.

BLENHEIM ORANGE
Partial russet, nutty flavour, very vigorous tree which should be grown on a dwarfing rootstock.

EGREMONT RUSSET
One of the most popular russets, good, nutty and sweet flavour, dense moist flesh, partially self-fertile.

CLAYGATE PEARMAIN
The russet skin is variable with around a third of the apple affected. A good, late, eating apple which  does well in the Midlands and North of the UK.

GOLDEN RUSSET
Crisper than most russets, American origins, keeps well, eating and cooking apple, excellent for cider.