Cox’s Orange Pippin is an apple cultivar first grown in 1825, at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire, England, by the retired brewer and horticulturist Richard Cox. Though the origin of the cultivar is unknown, the Ribston Pippin seems a likely candidate. 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 in Worcestershire, 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.
When shaken, the seeds make a rattling sound as they are only loosely held in the apple flesh, whereas other apples have their seeds contained as part of the apple flesh.
According to the Institute of Food Research, the Cox accounts for over 50% of the UK acreage of dessert apples, but this percentage is falling.
The Cox is highly regarded due to its excellent flavour. The flavour and texture of the variety changes from complex acidic and crunchy in early September to more mellow and softer after storage. However it can be difficult to grow in many environments and tends to be susceptible to diseases such as scab, mildew and canker. As a result, apple breeders have hybridized Cox with other varieties to improve yield without too much loss of flavour.
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