Why you should be excited
Red Astrachan is a Russian apple with the distinction of being one of the earliest bloomers of all varieties.
The story of Red Astrachan
Back before the internet (yes, there was such a time), information about apple varieties didn’t travel quickly or comprehensively. As a result, one variety, especially if it’s really old, could become known by different names in different places. Heck, how would people in one part of the world know that an old variety existed elsewhere and had a longstanding name?
This is how I imagine the Russian apple Red Astrachan came to be known in certain parts of the world as Abe Lincoln, in others as Waterloo and in yet others as Vermilion d’Ete.
In each case, we were talking about the same apple: the super early-blooming, early-ripening, short-keeping and pleasant-flavoured Red Astrachan.
Red Astrachan Facts
Unknown origins in Russia, 17th century or even earlier.
Flavour, aroma, texture
Crisp and sharp, juicy, flavourful. Nice for an early variety.
Medium-sized with yellow skin liberally splashed with crimson.
When they’re available
Early season (usually in August).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking:
Good. Also good in cider.
Minimal (just a few days when kept refrigerated).