Newtown Pippins at Peak
In early December at the Headhouse Square Farmers' Market Beechwood Orchards featured Newtown Pippin apples, a variety that dates to the early 1700s, first found in what is now the New York City borough of Queens.
It is regarded as one of the great storage apples, i.e., it improves with age. And February is regarded as the peak month for its eating. So the other day I pulled one out of the fruit bin of my fridge (stored in a plastic bag with plenty of air holes).
It was superb, and a contradiction of complex flavors: sweet and tart, crisp and tender. It's an apple with depth. Much superior to when I tasted it immediately after purchase. And it stored beautifully, with no soft spots or blemishes beyond those present when picked.
I'll be sure to lay in a supply again next December.