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Cox's Orange Pippin is an orange and red apple. While full of flavor, this apple is small and its yields are low. In addition, this apple has the tendency to become sunburnt and can even crack.
It is said to be the only apple in which, when shaken, the pips make a rattling sound as they are only loosely held in the apple flesh, whereas other apples have their pips contained as part of the apple flesh.
According to the Institute of Food Research, Cox's Orange Pippin accounts for over 50% of the UK area of dessert apples.
Cox is highly regarded because of its excellent flavour, and often thought as the best flavoured apple. The flavour and texture of the variety changes from complex acidic and crunchy in early September to more mellow and softer after storage. However like all the best examplars, it is difficult to grow and tends to catch all manner of diseases. As a result, apple breeders have hybridized Cox with other varieties to improve yield without too much loss of flavour.
The first plant was raised from a pip (of unknown origin, possibly from a Ribston Pippin) around 1825, at Colnbrook Lawn in England by a retired brewer and horticulturist Richard Cox. The variety was introduced for sale by the 1850s by Mr Charles Turner, and grown commercially from the 1860s, particularly in the Vale of Evesham, and later in Kent. A number of crosses and sports from the Cox's have been discovered over subsequent years, and these retain "Cox" in their names e.g. Crimson Cox, King Cox, Queen Cox.
- Bernstein, Amy D. and Peter W. Bernstein, editors. The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything. New York: St. Martin's Press: 2006.
- Cox's Orange Pippin from Wikipedia, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License—source of some article text