Field of Science

Cox's Orange Pippin

Perhaps you have never heard of or seen this apple: Cox's Orange Pippin. TPP just finished eating one, the first in a great many years and it did not disappoint. The orange pippin is simply one great tasting apple, a wonderful, juicy, sweet-tart flavor with a bit of citrus, a hint of banana and other fruity undertones. This apple sets a standard against which the taste of other apples is judged. This is a heritage variety that originated in the UK and introduced in 1825. Now it is seldom grown except by apple affectionados, so it was quite a surprise to find a bin of them in a supermarket in northern Washington state. They are not a particularly showy apple, at first mostly greenish with a streaky reddish blush and of medium size. As the ripen the green becomes yellow and reddish blush develops to produce an orangy-red color. TPP just read that something like 90% of agricultural biodiversity has been lost in the last 100 years. According to the Apples of New York (1905) 1600 varieties of apple were being grown at the time. Wonder how many varieties are commercially grown now? Wonder how many of those varieties have ceased to exist? Do you think 160 varieties are being grown there now? At least Cox's Orange Pippen has survived and you can buy the trees from many  nurseries. This image came from Van Meuwen's nursery.

2 comments:

William Connolley said...

> Perhaps you have never heard of or seen this apple

Splutter! Only in the US. It is commonplace in the UK. http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=45511 if you'd like to order some, though I'm not sure they deliver so far.

The Phytophactor said...

Quite true. The UK has always valued this variety of apple. They know a good thing.