Photo from Wikipedia entry
While shopping the produce aisle for suitable lunch fruit, I came across a beautiful crabapple that seduced me with its diminutive size and strikingly perfect color. Though I have been called a crabapple, I had never really put together that it was an actual fruit existing in the grocery store. At 30 cents, it seemed worth buying as a sort of fruit explorer on my luncheon plate.
If I had read the wikipedia entry prior, I would have realized that they are barely food. Proving to be inedible, I suspect very few people are buying crabapples for their extremely limited food uses and the entire market is limited to ill-informed fruit explorers like myself. Perhaps some are sold as decorative elements for holiday centerpieces.
The fruit of the other species is not an important crop in most areas, being extremely sour and (in some species) woody, and is rarely eaten raw for this reason. However, crabapples are an excellent source of pectin, and their juice can be made into a ruby-coloured jelly with a full, spicy flavor. A small percentage of crab apples in cider makes a more interesting flavor.Luckily, I also bought a delicious Bosc pear. (Gelson's, Silverlake, Organic, 1.99 a pound, which translates to about $1 per big pear.)