The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Russia is apple country.

The tsars did not need to build an empire in order to acquire this particular fruit (oranges are another story altogether!). However, once they pushed the borders south into Ukraine, they found themselves in possession of a proliferation of varieties, many of which came to dominate the markets of St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

And everyone agreed that the best apples came from Crimea.

All sorts grew on the peninsula, ranging from pedestrian to highly prized. The "Sary Sinap" or "Sary Sinop" held pride of place among them all. Just how fabulous could this apple possible be, you might ask? Well, according to Crimea's most famous horticulturalist (Abram Isaakovich Pastak),

old-time gardeners consider the notion of Crimean orchardry unthinkable without the Sary Sinop apple.

There you have it.

(See the Atlas plodov, vypusk 1, page 77)

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