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The blush is a striking orange-tinged red reminiscent of Fiesta's mother apple, Cox's Orange Pippin. The unblushed peel is a pale yellow green.
There is a lot happening on that peel: streaks in the blush, a broad swath of russet, fine light lenticels too small to make much visual impact, flyspeck. The peel flora lends a yeasty, grassy aroma.
These feel rock hard from the outside. (In fact Fiesta, though firm, is not jaw-breaking.)
Inside fine-grained creamy-white flesh bears a powerful dollop of orange, cane sugar, and acidity, in about that order. There is a flash of pear and, I think, a hint of vanilla lurking in the background when all is said and done.
There is a lot going on with this apple and I am not sure I caught it all. The flavors are intense.
I am enthusiastic about this one, which suggest the unruly Ribston Pippin rather than the orderly Cox's. If you are used to supermarket sweeties, Fiesta will amaze you, but brace yourself. Some may not appreciate the acidity, which is a bit over the top.
In the morning light, Fiesta's stem casts a shadow like the gnomon of a sundial.
The apple web site Orange Pippin, which ought to know, praises this variety as bearing real Cox qualities while being easier to grow.
"In a year that suits it, Fiesta gets very close indeed to the heights of Cox's Orange Pippin." That high bar is unmet this year, but these are still very good.
Several sources say Fiesta matures in late September, but these were falling-off-the-tree ripe on September 4.