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The Newtown Pippin apple (also known as Albemarle Pippin) is an American apple that originated in the early 18th century.

Characteristics

The Newtown Pippin is typically light green, sometimes with a yellow tinge. It is often russeted around the stem. The flesh is yellow and crisp. The flavor is complex and somewhat tart, and requires storage to develop properly; some sources ascribe to it a piney aroma. Green and yellow varieties are sometimes distinguished but it is not clear that they are in fact distinct cultivars. It is one of the best keeping apples.

Originally grown as a dessert apple, it is now used commercially primarily for cider.

Origins

This variety originated as a chance seedling (a “pippin”) on the Gershom Moore estate in the village of Newtown (now called Elmhurst; the Moore property stood in the vicinity of what is now Broadway and 45th Avenue) in Queens County on Long Island, New York in the early 18th century. It was widely grown and praised in colonial America. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote from Paris that “they have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin.”[1]

It was widely cultivated in the Piedmont region, brought there by Col. Thomas Walker, who grew it on his estate, Castle Hill. U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew the Newtown in Virginia, where it acquired the alternate name “Albemarle Pippin” after Albemarle County, Virginia. It came to the fore in 1838 when Andrew Stevenson, the American minister to Great Britain, presented Queen Victoria with a gift basket of the apples from his wife’s Albemarle County orchard.[2] In response, the British Parliament lifted import duties on the variety, and it was an important export until duties were reimposed during World War II.

In modern times, the Newtown Pippin has been eclipsed by the Granny Smith apple, which is more handsome and not as susceptible to russetting. It is still grown commercially in New York, where it is an important component in a major brand of cider. On a larger commercial scale, California-based Martinelli’s uses this variety for its sparkling ciders. The Newtown pippin is still available in Virginia, New York, California, the Pacific Northwest, and a few other places in the East, including roadside stands and at farmer’s markets. It continues to attract attention as an heirloom variety, and was identified as one of the parents of the Ginger Gold variety.

A partnership between the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York Restoration Project, Slow Food NYC, and Green Apple Cleaners is providing hundreds of Newtown Pippin saplings (and pollenizer saplings) to community gardens, schools, parks and other public spaces throughout the city.

 

Written on May 3rd, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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