Rossin Apple

Ark of taste
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Pom rossin

The “pom rossin” or rossin apple is a local late ripening apple very common in the region of Valli di Lugano, specifically Capriasca where more than 200 apple varieties have been recovered, including more than 20 “pom rossin” heirloom trees.

The name comes simply from the bright red color of the skin which, when fully ripe, extends inside the flesh as well, taking on a pink hue and with intense red colored veins. There are two types of pom rossin: one with a uniform skin and the more widespread streaked one. Both are the same size and shape and have the same taste characteristics. The fresh is firm, crunchy, very juicy, acidic and sweet, with a sharp, characteristic aroma. It is an excellent apple to eat fresh, but is also good for making cakes and other sweets, despite the fact that the fruit is hard to handle since it is often small and irregular.

Pom rossin is one of the last varieties to be harvested at the end of October when it has reached its best taste qualities. At one time the harvest was separated taking into account the quality of the fruit: the prettier ones were sold at the market or placed in a larder to save for the winter months (in perfect conditions pom rossin will last until April-May). depending on their quality the apples were used to process into juice or grappa. Locally pom rossin is considered the best suited for this type of production because its flesh possesses a excellent amount of juice and it has a strong aroma. These two beverages are still produced in the municipality of Capriasca and surrounding valleys, both for private consumption and to sell. Lastly, the 3rd quality apples, smaller and with a less appealing appearance, were given to pigs to fight the constipating effect caused by a diet of chestnut by-products.

At present the division of the harvest is not as noticeable, people collect the nice apples and leave the ugly ones on the ground. Those who have suitable cellars can store the fruit for the winter, the others need to transform the apples into grappa, jams or other products.

“Pom Rossin” is the only apple variety registered to date in Ticino, which is attributed with specific therapeutic properties, for example for treating sore throats. Moreover, this apple is rich in vitamins and is suitable for improving digestion. A tea made with apple peels was once consumed in the winter months to prevent colds. Local tradition has it that apples cooked in the oven produce a pink gelatin that was once given to prevent the flu and treat sore throats or throat irritations. Pom rossin was also used as a decorative elements, especially for Christmas decorations.

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Production area:Lugano Valleys

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Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Muriel Hendrichs, ProFrutteti