Ard Cairn Russet

Why you should be excited

Ard Cairn Russet reputedly tastes like banana. Or at least more so than anything else growing in Ireland.

The story of Ard Cairn Russet

People swear that a freshly-picked Ard Cairn Russet apple tastes just like a banana.


And, they say, after some time in storage, it gets drier and drier and tastes sweeter and sweeter.

What is it about apple varieties that start with the letter A? Ananas Reinette, Apricot Apple, now Ard Cairn Russet, all with flavours commonly compared to other fruit.

Hmm. We’re looking forward to tasting this variety for the first time, so we’ll have to temporarily withhold judgement on those seemingly far-fetched taste comparisons.

But we do know this much: Ard Cairn Russet is a fairly obscure heritage apple that hails from Ireland, has the classic rough russet appearance and is almost entirely lacking in acidity.

So, if you like your apples sweet, here’s one to try and judge for yourself whether it’s a worthwhile substitute for bananas…

Ard Cairn Russet Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Cork, Ireland, around 1890.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Sweet, with little juice and almost no acidity. Some people say it tastes like a banana. Becomes sweeter and drier after time in storage.


A moderately large apple with a golden background flushed with orange-red and - of course - with lots of russet.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in late September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider.

Keeping ability

Good (about 2 months when kept refrigerated).