Why you should be excited

Almata is a red-fleshed apple from the U.S.A. that some people consider a crab-apple and others not.

The story of Almata

With interest in red-fleshed apples on the rise, it may be time to carry out genetic analysis on some of the varieties to determine once and for all whether they are apples or crab-apples.

Almata -- like Wickson, a variety that has caught the interest of cider-makers in the U.S. -- has some telltale signs of being a crab: its small size and its early, long bloom time, for example. It's also super-tart, like many crabs.

We know something about the origins of Almata: it's a cross between a crab-apple and a regular apple. So what does that make it? We're not quite sure.

Whatever it is, people who know this obscure variety do love the red flesh and its effect on the appearance of Almata's tart juice and applesauce.

Almata Facts

Its origins

Bred in South Dakota, USA; 1942.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Tart, tart, tart. But also has some nice apple flavour. Did we mention that it's quite acidic?


The solid dark red skin of this smallish apple is often covered with a grey bloom.

When they’re available

Early season (usually in August).

Quality for fresh eating

Good, if you like plenty of acidity in your apples.

Quality for cooking

Very good.

Quality for cider

Not widely used in cider, but could be useful in adding colour and acid to blends.

Keeping ability

Minimal (about 1 week when kept refrigerated).