A brief guide of an genuine
and unique medieval Russian
delicacy which is Apple Pastila
from the old Russian town
Over the centuries the old Russian town of Kolomna has been famous for its simple but delicious sweet apple Pastila. What is Pastila? It’s a medieval apple preserve. Judge for yourself. For ages Kolomna was a large apple center in the heart of Russia. It goes without saying that the winters in this region were very harsh. How was it possible to preserve the great apple crops here? The people of Kolomna found a way out.
In the XVI century they invented a kind of apple preserve, named PASTILA. They began to bake green and sour apples in the oven, boiled or whipped them with honey or molasses (later with sugar), then spread in a thin layer on the bottom of the wooden boxes and dry in the Russian oven after baking the bread. And it turned out to be a wonderful apple delicacy, called Pastila, which was perfectly preserved until the next apple harvest.
Pastila from baked apples, boiled out and then dried in the oven, is called dense pastila or smokva. This kind of pastila looks like marmalade.
Pastila from baked apples, whisked with sugar (often with the addition of egg whites) and then dried in the oven, is called friable (loose) pastila. This kind of pastila looks like an airy biscuit.
Anyway, the apple Pastila originated from Kolomna has become very popular in Russia. It’s often even called Russian pastila. Russian pastila was loved by all – Russian tsars, Russian geniuses – Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and ordinary Russian people.
In the middle of the XIX century foreign tastes and sweets came to Russia. Kolomna merchants Chuprikov, who were the largest producers of pastila in Kolomna, didn’t want to lag behind fashion and they started making sweets called “confects”.
But honestly, the difference between Pastila and the old fashioned sweets was small. In fact these sweets were the same Pastila, which was cut into small pieces and dipped in sugar or covered with caramel or chocolate.
In other words, these sweets followed overseas fashion in their form, and remained Russian traditional delicacy in their filling. This filling was 100% natural and healthy traditional Russian apple Pastila.
The Museum Pastila factory, located in the historic walls of the old Pastila factory of merchants Chuprikov in Kolomna, follows the old traditions and handmakes all kinds of apple pastila and sweets to the old recipes and technologies.
The famous Russian poet once wrote that it’s impossible to understand Russia with mind. And it’s true. We invite all those who seek to understand Russia not only with mind, but also with the heart, to taste the original Russian apple Pastila. This is a real gift from the Past. Help yourself, please!