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Fiesta

Why you should be excited

Fiesta is a relative of Cox’s Orange Pippin that’s less finicky and still a delicious and complex fresh-eating apple.

The story of Fiesta

It’s no surprise that apple breeding in England has frequently used the great UK-favourite variety, Cox’s Orange Pippin, as one of the parents. Just as Japanese breeding has tended to use the most popular of sweet apples, Golden Delicious.

Breeders in each country understandably try to build from existing preferences.

And Fiesta is a good example of what can be done with a Cox offspring, delivering some of the complexity of that variety while also providing a much less finicky tree. Plus it gets good keeping ability from its other parent, Idared, which is a major bonus.

Strangely, we have found both parents to be less than ideal trees in the orchard (Cox's Orange Pippin because of its susceptibility to all diseases and general lack of dependable productivity and Idared because of its issues with scab), yet Fiesta has grown with less difficulty than either. So we've been favourably impressed.

The bottom line: this pretty apple would be valued even if nobody knew about its parentage.

Fiesta Facts

Its origins

Bred in Kent, England; introduced in 1972.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Crisp, juicy, sweet, but with some spicy complexity as well as nicely balancing acidity.

Appearance

Medium-sized with a yellow background prettily flecked with orange and red flush.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in October).

Quality for fresh eating

Good. Good for juice, too.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating and in cider.

Quality for cider

While not particularly well known for its use in cider, Fiesta has quietly developed a reputation as a good cider apple.

Keeping ability

Good (about 3 months when kept refrigerated).