Alatau Dawn Apples
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Alatau Dawn apples are small to medium-sized, globular fruits with an ovate, round, or conical shape and are attached to a slender, dark brown stem. The skin is smooth, waxy, and yellow-green, covered in a prominent orange-red blush with many brown spots scattered across the surface. Underneath the skin, the flesh is cream-colored to pale yellow, crisp, aqueous, and fine-grained, encasing a central core with a few dark brown, oval seeds. Alatau Dawn apples are aromatic and juicy with a very sweet, mildly tart flavor.
Alatau Dawn apples are harvested in the fall and are available in cold storage until the end of spring in Asia and eastern Europe.
Alatau Dawn apples, botanically classified as Maus domestica, are a small, sweet variety that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Also known as Zarya Alatau apples, Alatau Dawn apples were created at the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture and were developed for their resistance to disease, frost tolerance, and extended storage capabilities. Alatau Dawn apples are also a popular home garden variety as the trees are highly productive, bearing a large harvest of consistently juicy and sweet fruits, and the apples are primarily consumed as a dessert variety eaten fresh, out-of-hand.
Alatau Dawn apples contain ascorbic acid, which is a water-soluble vitamin that can help build collagen, protect the immune system, and cleanse the body. The apples also contain some dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin A.
Alatau Dawn apples are best suited for raw consumption as its sweet, juicy flesh is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. Considered to be a dessert variety, which means it is preferred to be eaten raw rather than cooked, Alatau Dawn apples can be sliced and displayed on appetizer plates, layered in sandwiches, cubed and tossed into salads, or consumed as a stand-alone snack. The apples are also popularly pureed and used as natural baby food or blended into apple sauce. In addition to fresh preparations, Alatau Dawn apples can be utilized in pies, tarts, bread, muffins, and cakes, but their small size may become an inconvenience when making larger recipes. Alatau Dawn apples pair well with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, kale, Brussel sprouts, fennel, dried fruits, pears, cherries, and honey. The fresh apples will keep 1-2 months when stored in the refrigerator.
Alma Fest is an annual apple festival celebrated in September in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Almaty is considered to be the center of origin for apples, and on average, over 200,000 visitors travel to the First Presidential Park to participate in the festivities honoring the prized fruit. During Alma Fest, there are live performances, including dancers on stilts, clowns, and music, an art exhibition, and many different games and activities for participants of all ages. The festival also sells a wide variety of apple dishes such as jams, pies, and pastries, and an extensive selection of fresh apples, including the Alatau Dawn variety, are available for sampling. In addition to local varieties, the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture will sometimes showcase experimental varieties during the celebration to trial the fruits and obtain initial responses from consumers.
Alatau Dawn apples were created from open pollination of the ranet orleans variety at the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture. Developed by N.V. Markov and A.N. Katseiko, the variety was released to the public after extensive trials and became a popular cultivar for its sweet taste in the home gardening sector. Today Alatau Dawn apples are grown and found at local markets in the Baltic states, especially in Latvia, in Russia, and Kazakhstan.