Crabapple

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

crabapple sometimes shortened to ‘crab’, is the name given to any very small and sour apple, wild or cultivated, from any of numerous species in the genus Malus. The modern cultivated apple is classified as M. pumila, which is one of these species. Its ancestry probably includes also M. sylvestris, the common crabapple found in the British Isles; and M. baccata, the Siberian crab, also plays a role here. Other species grow in the Orient and N. America, and many of them have a history of local use in early times.