Pig's Nose Apples
Inventory, lb : 0
Pig’s Nose apples are a medium to large varietal, averaging 6 to 9 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to conical shape with a narrow, tapered base. The top of the apple has a shallow, open calyx, creating a flat appearance, and the fibrous and short green-brown stem grows from the center of the calyx. The apple’s skin has a green-yellow base and is flushed with patches of dull, red-orange blush, striations, and streaks. The surface is also covered in pale, russet lenticels, contributing to the apple’s textured feel. Underneath the thin skin, the cream-colored flesh is tinged with green and is fine-grained, firm, and aqueous with a crisp consistency. The flesh also encases a central core filled with tiny dark brown seeds. Pig’s Nose apples have a faint aroma and a sweet-tart flavor with a blend of tangy, sugary, tannic, and acidic nuances.
Pig’s Nose apples are available in the late fall through winter.
Pig’s Nose apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a late-season variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The English apple was first recorded in the late 19th century and is a rare variety, grown on a small scale in heritage orchards. Pig’s Nose apples were named for their similarity in appearance to the farm animal’s nose with the same name. The apples have a broad, shallow, flat top with a short and stout stem resembling a pig’s nose. Pig’s Nose apples are also known as Pig’s Snout and Pig’s Nose Pippin apples, and the heirloom apples were traditionally consumed as a fresh eating and cider variety. In the present day, Pig’s Nose apples are challenging to find and are mostly a novel apple kept in orchards seeking to preserve antique varieties.
Pig’s Nose apples are a good source of vitamins, including vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, vitamin E to protect the cells against free radical damage, and vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing. The apples also provide fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, and lower amounts of boron, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.
Pig’s Nose apples are a dessert variety mainly consumed in raw preparations. The apples can be eaten straight, out of hand, with or without the skin, and the flesh can be tossed into salads, shredded into slaws, or mixed into fruit bowls. Pig’s Nose apples can also be blended into smoothies, layered into sandwiches, or used as a fresh topping over grain bowls, breakfast dishes such as oatmeal, or stirred into parfaits. The apple's sharp and sweet flavor can be served with creamy cheeses as an appetizer, or they can be used as a substitute for braeburn apples in fresh recipes. In addition to raw preparations, Pig’s Nose apples are commonly incorporated into cider as they contain tannins to provide a complex depth of flavor in cider blends. While more uncommon, the apples can be wrapped in pastry and baked whole as a savory-sweet treat or simmered into a perfumed puree. Pig’s Nose apples pair well with herbs such as mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, cheeses including cheddar, camembert, brie, goat, and feta, nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and almonds, and other fruits including berries, citrus, and stone fruits. Whole, unwashed Pig’s Nose apples will keep 2 to 3 months when stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Pig’s Nose apples are sometimes used as a specialty apple in traditional ciders of Herefordshire. The apples provide a sharp, sweet, and tangy flavor that can be combined with other varieties to develop a complex taste, and Pig’s Nose apples are believed to be native to Herefordshire, one of the top cider-producing counties in England. Herefordshire is known for its apple orchards and manufactures almost half of the country’s commercial cider. Each cidery uses various types of apples, creating custom blends ranging in flavor from dry to sweet. The art of cider making can be traced back to ancient times in England. Historically, cider was consumed as an everyday beverage in lieu of water as the fermentation removed harmful bacteria. British field workers were also given rations of cider during their workday, and during the busy harvest season, some workers may have consumed over two liters of cider per day. In the modern-day, Herefordshire is still full of cideries, and there are cider tour routes that have been established for visitors to learn and visit the working cideries. There is also a cider museum in Hereford created by a charitable trust in 1973 to educate and preserve the traditional way of making cider.
Experts believe Pig’s Nose apples to be native to Herefordshire, a county in the West Midlands of England. Herefordshire is one of the most rural counties in England and is known for the agricultural production of fruit, especially apples. Most of the apple variety’s history is unknown, including its date of origin and parentage, but Pig’s Nose apples were first recorded by author Robert Hogg in 1884. Pig’s Nose apples were also grown in the Welsh Marches, an area of land that lies along the border between England and Wales, specializing in apple production. Today Pig’s Nose apples are a rare heirloom variety that is not commercially cultivated and is grown through apple enthusiasts and specialty orchards in southwestern England. The apples are challenging to find outside of Herefordshire, but they have been spotted in Cornwall, specifically in Callington and in the county of Kent. The Pig’s Nose apples featured in the photograph above were found in the Heritage Orchard at Brogdale Fruit Farm near Faversham, Kent.