Berries and cherries may seem like the most prevalent fruits in Ukraine as they're so scrumptious, prevalent and available in the summer months. But apples take center stage come fall. You can eat them fresh, picked from the tree in your dacha's garden; you can make apple cakes; you can dry them, and use them to make a compote from that; you can have pickled apples, or make apple wine or brandy. So rather than those big, hard supermarket apples, Ukrainians have all these ways to make the flavors of real, taste-filled apples last the year-round.
Dried apples are just one part of what makes uzvar, a drink made from soaking dried apples, plums and perhaps pears in liquid. The drink often has a smoky taste, from the way the fruits are dried, and to me, is a bit of an acquired taste.
called Jubilee. Discovered growing wild in Ukraine in the 1700s was the Alexander apple, which came into Britain in 1805; and then made its way to the United States.
One of the most notable apples was the Reinette Simirenko (above) which, some agronomists say, may be the same as Woods' Greening, an American apple. But it may have originated in P.F. Simirenko's Ukrainian garden. I could just find a bit about Simirenko, who evidently was an expert in fruit crop breeding in Ukraine but whose work was opposed by Soviet horticulturist Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, leading to Simirenko's imprisonment and death in the 1930s. But evidently the taste of the Reinette Simirenko is out of this world--Soviet cosmonauts snacked on it in space! So perhaps it's a carefully wrapped Reinette Simirenko you glimpse in this video showing ground level tasting of cosmonaut food.