Why you should be excited
Cox's Pomona is a sister of Cox's Orange Pippin, bred by the same person at the same time, using the same parents.
The story of Cox's Pomona
As a small child growing up in Canada, I paid pretty close attention to hockey. Back in those days (the '70s!), brother pairs were all the rage in hockey. There was Phil Esposito and his brother Tony, Frank Mahovlich and Pete, Bobby Hull and Dennis.
In most cases, one of the brothers was considerably more talented than the other: for example, Bobby Hull was already a legend even before he retired, while Dennis was never really considered anything more than a journeyman.
Shifting back to the world of apples, to most North Americans, news that Cox's Pomona is likely a sibling of Cox's Orange Pippin is less than stunning news. But to those in England -- where Cox Pippin is revered -- it's pretty exciting.
The two have much in common, both raised by Richard Cox around 1925 from the seed of a Ribston Pippin, both introduced to the rest of the world around 1850 and both desirable apples.
From there, the two stories diverge, as Cox's Orange Pippin gained great and lasting fame, which Cox's Pomona has never been more than a multi-purpose apple of limited renown. You might think of it as the Dennis Hull of appledom.
Best known as a cooker, this is a crisp and tasty apple that deserves to be better known.
Cox's Pomona Facts
Raised from seed in Berkshire, England around 1825; introduced in 1850.
Flavour, aroma, texture
Crisp and tart when eaten fresh. Cooked, it breaks down into a sweet, yellowish puree.
The greenish-yellow background skin colour of this large, irregularly-shaped apple is partly covered with broken red stripes.
When they’re available
Mid-season (usually in late September).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Quality for cider
Doesn't have a particular history as a cider apple, but -- like other heritage varieties -- it can almost certainly contribute positively to cider blends.
Good (2 or 3 months when kept refrigerated).