Malus domestica Borkh
RISK OF EROSION High
DESCRIPTION It is a widespread variety in Central Italy, in particular in Tuscany, but also in the Marche and Abruzzo. The name is linked to the characteristic of the fruits of having the skin entirely (or almost) covered with russeting. The fruits are small and obloid in shape. The harvest takes place in October.
BACKGROUND It is a widespread variety in Central Italy, in particular in Tuscany, but also in the Marche and Abruzzo. The term ruzza in fact does not appear in dictionaries unless associated with specific semantic values. In its first meaning and in its substantive form the voice ruzza is to be understood as a synonym of rust . In agronomic jargon it is then used to indicate a whole series of phytopathologies, caused by parasitic fungi, which manifest themselves with the appearance on the plant of reddish spots [RizzoliLarousse, Encyclopedia Universale , vol. XIII; Bosco U., Universal Italian Lexicon of Language, Letters, Arts, Science and Technology, Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia, Rome, 1968: 460]. Both entries derive from the Latin aerugo-aeruginis (verdigris) and from aes-aeris (copper) to pass to the vulgar (ae) rugia (m) ruggia-ruzza, aerugine (m), then arriving at the prevailing adjectival function used for indicate a specific color: rust, in fact, associated with various artifacts or with the skin of some fruit-bearing species (apples, pears with rust-colored skin). This linguistic custom is more limited than the use of the synonym Roggio / a: “which has a red or reddish color, dark red, brick or rust […] In particular, it has a rust-colored skin (a variety of apples e di pere) “ [Battaglia S., Great Dictionary of the Italian Language , Unione typografico-editrice Torinese, Turin, 2000]. This synonym seems to be considered more “adequate” and appears more frequently in linguistic texts, where its identification with the aforementioned fruits is specified. On the basis of the various sources analyzed, it is possible to hypothesize a prevalence of the ruzza version due to rust limited to the Central-Southern regions, in particular Marche, Umbria and Lazio; while in the north and in Tuscany the more “appropriate” canal form would seem to prevail, almost exclusively used in the classifications and descriptions of botanists, where there are few references associated with the ruzza attribute. Specifically in the Umbrian context, the term ruzza is among the entries translated in the dictionary of the Folignate dialect of Bruschi, where it is specified: “ruzza [area] sf 1) restlessness, 2) rust, 2) apple variety” [Bruschi R. , Vocabulary of the dialect of the territory of Foligno, University of Perugia (Institute of Romance Philology), Perugia, 1980: 327]. In any case, the term canal is equally widespread in Umbria, as evidenced by the studies carried out in the archives of the Bufalini family of San Giustino, where in 1750 it is recorded: “apples in the past year were four and more some and I I had only a pack of apples and also a basket of roggie apples “ [From Reason I., Keeping in front of fruit , Petruzzi Editore, Città di Castello, 2009: 130; Mercati E., Giangamboni L. (cur.), The archive and library of the Bufalini family of San Giustino . Inventory and catalog with updated and integrated reprint of the inventory of Giustiniano Degli Azzi Vitelleschi, Archival Superintendence for Umbria, Perugia, 2001].
TYPICAL PRODUCTION AREA This variety is widespread in different parts of Umbria without being able to identify, to date, a limited area. Specimens are widespread in Città di Castello as well as in the Municipalities of Foligno and Cascia.
GASTRONOMIC USE Variety for fresh consumption, characterized by good post-harvest shelf life both in the loft and in the refrigerator.