Can you eat European crab apples?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “can you eat European crab apples?”. We will also talk about the nutritional profile of European crab apples and learn more interesting facts about European crab apples.

Can you eat European crab apples?

The myth surrounding eating European crab apples is toxic and poisonous is wrong. Yes, the European crab apples are edible and do not possess any threat to anyone’s health. 

They are not the best eaten raw due to their bitter, sour taste but are good for making delicious jams and marmalades. 

What are European crab apples?

European crab apples is a species of genus Malus native to Europe. Its scientific name is Malus sylvestris which literally means forest apple. These are wild apple species that are found in the forests. 

The European crab apples are the major contributor to the modern-day orchard apples. The orchard apples that we can buy in the market are simply domesticated variations of European crab apples.

The European crab apples are the fruit from the crab apple trees found in the wild which are available from fall through to the winter months. They are small, greenish-yellow in colour, and bitter, sour in taste.

They also have a high pectin and acid content which makes them ideal for making jams and jellies.

Can you eat European crab apples raw?

Yes, the European crab apples are perfectly fine to be eaten raw but will taste better when cooked. 

They taste bitter and sour if consumed raw but can be quite fruity, tangy, and apple-like taste shines when cooked or baked.

What is the nutritional profile of European crab apples?

The European crab apples are a good source of Vitamin C and are packed with other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. 

The European crab apples have anti-cancer compounds and antioxidants that help fight chronic diseases and ageing.

One crab apple of 35 gms or 1.2 ounces has the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 18
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fibre: 4 % of the Daily Value
  • Vitamin C: 2 % of the Daily Value
  • Potassium: 1 % of the Daily Value
  • Copper: 1 % of the Daily Value

The European crab apples contain the same nutrients as their larger counterparts, the orchard apples but on a smaller scale just as their size.

Are European crab apples poisonous?

The European crab apples are not poisonous at all. The seeds of the European crab apples as the orchard apples contain a toxic compound called cyanogenic glycoside that can turn into cyanide when eaten.

But there is no need to panic since the amount of cyanide produced by the body is minimal to affect anyone. 

Are European crab apples toxic for dogs?

The seeds of the European crab apples contain a toxic compound called cyanogenic glycoside which turns into cyanide, a toxic chemical when eaten. Cyanide is toxic and poisonous to dogs of any age.

Since the dogs would eat the whole fruit, it is risky. The actual peel and the flesh is not toxic, keep in mind that the seeds are the only part that is toxic to dogs.

Common symptoms of European crab apple poisoning are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • A decrease in heart rate 
  • Red lips, gums, and tongue
  • Coma 
  • Death 

What are European crab apples used for?

The European crab apples are the best fruits for making jams and jellies because of their high pectin and acid content. 

The European crab apples are also used to make delicious wines, liqueurs, syrups, sauces, and amazing pie filling.

When to harvest European crab apples?

The European crab apples start fruiting during the summer and ripen in fall but the right time to harvest or forage in case of the trees in the wild is during winter. The cold weather makes the crab apples taste better.

Are there other varieties of crab apples?

There are many different types of crab apples apart from European ones. Some of them are smaller while others can be as big as the domesticated orchard apples. The crab apple tree is the only apple tree that is native to North America.

Some of the types of crab apples include chestnut, centennial, whitney, pink sprites, dolgo, and hopa. There are more than a hundred types of crab apple species in the wild around the globe.

The crab apple trees are more looked up to as ornamental fruit trees as they look fantastic when in season. 

They produce vibrant blossoms and green to red fruits depending on the variety which makes the surroundings beautiful.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “can you eat European crab apples?”. We also talked about the nutritional profile of European crab apples and learned more interesting facts about European crab apples.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-you-eat-crab-apples#nutrition
https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/European_Crabapples_14247.php

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.