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Aport apples are large, spherical fruits with a conical, slightly flattened, to ovate shape connected to a very thin and slender, brown stem. The skin is waxy, shiny, and smooth with a light bloom, and the green-yellow base is covered in bright red blush and dark red striping. Underneath the medium-thick skin, the flesh is crisp, pale yellow-green, fine-grained, and aqueous, encasing a central core filled with small, oval brown-black seeds. Aport apples have a fragrant, honey-like aroma with a sweet and sour flavor.
Aport apples are available in the fall through late winter.
Aport apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are large, flavorful fruits that belong to the Rosaceae family. Considered to be one of the oldest varieties of apples, Aport apples found in the market today have been improved from original varieties, and one of the parent cultivars is the wild apple, Malus sieversii. The apples were named after the Russian Emperor Alexander Aport and were primarily grown in Kazakhstan, where they are currently considered to be one of the country’s most famous cultivars. At the height of their fame, Aport apples were grown in orchards across the Almaty region and were revered for their large size and flavor, but the tree was slow-growing, only producing fruit after 8 to 10 years. With the irregular fruiting and slow growth, many of the orchards were removed to make room for urban development and expansion, causing Aport apples to be pushed to the brink of extinction. In the modern-day, entrepreneurs and grass-root businesses are revitalizing Aport apple production in Almaty through small farms and social media, and the fruit is still considered to be a sweet symbol of the city.
Aport apples are a good source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that can rebuild collagen within the body and can help boost the immune system. The apples are also known for their fiber content, which can help regulate digestion, and contain some potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin K.
Aport apples are best suited for fresh consumption as their sweet and tangy flavor is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The apples can be eaten whole as a snack, discarding the core, sliced into wedges and served with cheeses and spreads, diced into cereals, or chopped and added to salads. Aport apples can also be utilized in desserts such as ice cream, pies, cakes, and mousses, baked in sweet sauces, cooked into jams, roasted with meats, fried into fritters, or simmered in soups. In addition to fresh and cooked preparations, Aport apples are commonly dried for extended use, consumed as a chewy snack, or they can be chopped and added to rice dishes. Aport apples pair well with meats such as beef, pork, and veal, green onions, garlic, carrots, cucumber, red pepper, raisins, nuts, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. The fresh apples will keep 2-4 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Aport apples have become synonymous with Almaty, which is a city located in the southeastern region of Kazakhstan, nestled alongside the Trans-lli Alatau mountains. Almaty once contained over three million Aport apple trees and was one of the first regions to cultivate the variety on a broad scale. The region received international recognition for its exported fruits in 1990 at the World Exhibition in Paris for the apple’s size and flavor, and Aport apples also became famous for being transported to the Kremlin in Russia as a sweet snack for powerful leaders. Today Aport apples are more challenging to find in Almaty markets due to the loss of orchards. However, the apples still live on as a symbol of notoriety and pride in the major commercial city and are depicted on silver coins and stamps.
Aport apples were originally transported from the Balkan Peninsula to Ukraine, and to Russia sometime during the 12th century. The variety eventually made its way to Almaty, Kazakhstan through a Russian tradesman known as Yegor Redko in 1865, and the variety was then selectively crossed with a wild sievers variety by N.T. Moses, developing the apple that is cultivated in the modern-day. Today Aport apples are still grown on a small scale in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and can also be found in select regions of Uzbekistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Recipes that include Aport Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Transatlantyk||Buckwheat Apple Cake|