Saturday, February 6, 2010

Piñata - Pacific Rose smackdown


Distinctive Piñata was first introduced into the Northeast last February. Its arrival a few weeks earlier this year permits a comparison with Pacific Rose, another newcomer.

A face-off is hard to resist since they share some lush flavors. Consider this the hibernal battle of the tropical tastes.

Pacific Rose, at right, is smaller, and blocky where Piñata is tapered and more ribbed. (The size difference is less evident in the photo because of the camera angle.) Due the the vagaries of the market, my Pacific Rose came waxed but Piñata didn't.

Both are attractively blushed, Pacific Rose a dusty rose dappled with translucent patches, Piñata a flamboyant orange-red over yellow. On looks alone, I'd have to call this a draw. (The Piñata I tasted last year was prettier, though.)

The two apples have similar aromas, but Piñata's is more prominent and assertive.

The flesh of the Rose is lovely and juicy, coarser and yellower than Piñata's. But Piñata is crisper, with flavors that are both more distinct and intense. Pacific Rose is watery by comparision, though I did note a flash of pineapple from the calyx end of this one.

Though, Piñata takes the lead, it does not overwhelm as it did when paired with Ambrosia. The Pacific Rose is still a good tasting foil to Piñata's honeyed tropical fruitiness.

So, who best enlivens wintertime with tropical flavor? It is fun to eat both together. The pairing emphasizes Pacific Rose's floral flavors and Piñata's more-intense tropical ones. Not a draw, however: robust Piñata by a nose.

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