Bismarck

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Why you should be excited

Bismarck is is an old and tasty Australian cooking apple that was highly popular in the UK until the 1930s.

The story of Bismarck

This apple variety is old enough that it was considered reasonable for its Australian finders to name it after Germany’s most prominent leader of the second half of the 19th century. Perhaps not a naming convention they would use today, but I'm sure it made sense at the time.

After all, when Bismarck was first discovered, Europe was still well over half a century away from the First World War. And the assertive flavour of this cooking variety apparently reminded someone of the strength of leadership Otto von Bismarck provided.

This was a popular apple in its time, widely grown in Australia late in the 19th century and also in Britain, where they have always loved their strong-flavoured cookers.

Is there a place for Bismarck today? We invite you to try it and decide for yourself.

Bismarck Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Carisbrook, Australia, 1860s.

Flavour, aroma, texture

This culinary variety has a brisk, astringent, assertive apple flavour, cooking to a bright yellow puree.

Appearance

A medium to large apple with a greenish-yellow background mostly covered by a bright red flush and red stripes.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Mainly used for cooking.

Quality for cooking

Good.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but its high acid could be useful in blends.

Keeping ability

Very good (4 or 5 months when kept refrigerated).