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Piñata apples are medium to large and have an orange glow marked with red stripes over a yellow background. They are slightly conical with broad shoulders and ribbing. The whole apple has a noticeable melon scent. The skin is thin and the white flesh is crisp, fine grained, and juicy. The Piñata apple is said to have a “classic” apple taste. Its flavor has a slightly tropical or fruity twist, and its high sugar and acid content lends the Piñata apple a tangy-tart taste, comparable to Fuji, Braeburn, or Gala. The flavor has notes of banana, pineapple, honey, and coconut.
Piñata apples are available mid-winter through early summer.
The Piñata apple is a modern variety of Malus domestica. The name “Piñata” is really a combination of the apple’s two given names: Pinova and Sonata. It can sometimes be found for sale under one of these names. In 2001, the Piñata apple was named Apple of the Year in Germany, where this apple was developed. The company that grows and distributes the Piñata has also released an organic version to accompany the conventional one.
Apples are low in calories but high in several key nutrients. They are plentiful in dietary fiber and Vitamin C, and also contain lower amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
A Piñata apple’s thin skin, crisp texture, and unique flavor make it a good fresh eating variety. It also does not brown very quickly, making it a nice addition sliced thinly in salads. This variety holds up well to poaching and baking. Piñata apples make good apple pie apples because of their crisp texture and flavor. Piñata apples pair well with pork dishes—use to stuff pork tenderloin or roast and serve alongside.
The Stemilt company, which has the exclusive rights to distribute this apple in the United States, controls the Piñata’s release. Although they are harvested in late fall every year, they are stored until after Christmas, when they enter the market.
Piñata apples were created by researchers in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany in the 1970s as a cross between three heirloom apples: Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg. The German-bred apple was released in 1986 and was sold commercially in Europe until 2004 when the rights to grow the hybrid heirloom apple were purchased by the Stemilt company in eastern Washington state. In 2010, Stemilt released the Piñata apple to the American market.
Recipes that include Piñata Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Piñata Apples using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.