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Candil Sunrise Apples
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Candil Sunrise apples are elongated fruits with an oval to cylindrical shape, connected to slender, dark brown stems. The skin is smooth, waxy, and pale yellow, with prominent lenticels scattered across the surface. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is ivory to white, crisp, fine-grained, and aqueous, encasing a central core filled with a few black-brown seeds. Candil Sunrise apples have a sugar-like aroma with a balanced, sweet and sour flavor.
Candil Sunrise apples are harvested in the late fall and can be stored through early spring.
Candil Sunrise apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a uniquely shaped variety that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Primarily found in Kazakhstan, Candil Sunrise apples are early-harvested fruits that are picked before the skin is over-exposed to sunlight, developing a red-pink blush. Candil Sunrise apples are highly favored for their unusual shape, pale yellow skin, and juicy, sweet-tart flavor. The apples are considered a specialty cultivar grown on a small scale for local markets and are mainly utilized for fresh consumption as a dessert variety. Candil Sunrise apples are also popularly displayed as ornamental decorations, carefully stacked in bowls or layered on plates in kitchens to highlight their unusual shape.
Candil Sunrise apples are a good source of potassium, which can help regulate fluid levels within the body, and contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant used to strengthen the immune system. The apples also provide fiber, which can help regulate digestion, and some vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
Candil Sunrise apples are best suited for raw applications as their crisp, sweet, and acidic flesh are showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The apples can be sliced and served as a snack with dips, chopped and tossed into green and fruit salads, sliced over ice cream, or pressed into juices and ciders. Candil Sunrise apples can also be utilized in cooked applications such as making jams, jellies, and sauces, or they can be baked into pies, tarts, muffins, bread, and cobblers. In addition to raw and cooked applications, the apples can be thinly sliced and dried for extended use. Candil Sunrise apples pair well with meats such as pork, beef, poultry, and fish, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, lemon, vanilla, caramel, herbs such as mint, parsley, and basil, oranges, pears, plums, and cranberries. The fresh apples will keep 1-4 months when stored in the refrigerator.
Candil Sunrise apples are just one of many varieties featured during Kazakhstan’s “Alma Fest” apple festival. Hosted in the city of Almaty, the festival celebrates the diversity of apple varieties found in the country features live entertainment, apple contests, apple tastings, and edible goods for sale. During the festival, many local growers, including the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture, set up booths where visitors can sample a wide array of apples from popular varieties to rare and unique varieties such as the Candil Sunrise.
Candil Sunrise apples were believed to have been created from a natural mutation before the 18th century, but the exact history is primarily unknown. The variety is a featured selection of the Kazakh Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture and is believed to be an early version of the popular candil apple. Today Candil Sunrise apples can be found through select specialty growers, especially in the Zhambyl and Almaty regions, and are available at local markets in Kazakhstan.