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Medieval Fruit Varieties

Question: Was the fruit in the middle ages the same as it is now?

It is easy to find recipes using fruit in medieval cookbooks. References to fruits like apples, pears, plums, and grapes are readily apparent. But were the apples they ate then the same as those we have now? Some varieties, like Red Delicious, are clearly modern, but others with a long history can be difficult to document.

The fruit varieties listed below have been documented as existing before 1700. Where possible, a nursery that sells the variety is provded.

As more thorough documentation for dates of origin become available, it will be posted here.


1200 Chataignier (France)
~1200 Old Pearmain (England)
13th c. Coeur de Boeuf (France)
14th c. Court Pendu Gris (France)
1535 Rambour Franc (France)
1598 Calville Blanc
16th c. Ananas Reinette (France)
16th c. Autumn Pearmain (England)
1600 Calville Rouge d'Hiver (France)
16th c. Old Nonpareil (England)
16th c. Scarlet Crofton (Ireland)
1608 Fenouillet Gris (France)
1613 Court Pendu (France)
1613 Court Pendu Plat (England)
1613 Court Pendu Rose (France)
1628 Lady (France)
1649 Roxbury Russet (Massachusetts)
1650 Rhode Island Greening (Rhode Island)
1655 Red Joaneting (England)
1664 Foxwhelp (England)
1665 Bridgewater Pippin (England)
1665 Royale d'Angleterre (France)
1669 Gravenstein (Italy)
1670 Calville Rouge d'Automne (France)
1678 Devonshire Quarrenden (England)
17th c. Broad-Eyed Pippin (England)
17th c. Catshead (England)
17th c. Colonel Vaughan (England)
17th c. Lemon Pippin (England)
17th c. Pigeon de Jerusalem (France)
450 Decio (England)


16th c. English Morello (England)
17th c. Montmorency (France)


? Breda Giant (Netherlands)
? Royal Medlar (England)


17th c. Bourdine (France)


1495 Bon Chretien d'Hiver (Italy)
1500 Petit Blanquet (France)
1500 Red Pear (England)
1500 Sanguinole (Germany)
1500 Verte Longue d'Automne (France)
1530 Petit Muscat (France)
1536 Bergamote d'Automne
1550 Messire Jean (France)
1559 White Doyenne (Italy)
1575 Black Worcester (England)
1575 Spina Carpi (Italy)
~1598 Besi d'Hery (France)
1598 Sucre Verte (France)
1600 Barland (England)
1600 Doyenne d'Alecon (France)
~1600 Thorn (England)
1628 Bergamote d'Ete
1628 Beurre d'Angleterre (England)
1628 Citron de Carmes (France)
1629 Epargne (France)
1650 Beurre Gris (France)
1665 Chaumontel (France)
1675 Guenette
1685 Besi de La Motte (France)
1690 Belle Angevine (England)
1690 Pound (England)
17th c. Forelle (Germany)
1700 Taynton Squash (England)
? Rousselet de Reims (France?)


1582 Violet Perdrigon (England)
1699 Saint Catherine (France)
17th c. Shropshire Damson (England)


15th c. Woodland Strawberry (Europe)