Piñata appeared at the market complete with snazzy name and the slogan, "Classic apple flavors with a tropical twist." Clearly the marketing gurus pulled an all-nighter on this one, but let's have a look.
This is a medium-large apple with a streaky pink blush over yellow; the fusion effect is a variegated flamboyant orange and very pretty. My photographed sample is a bit lopsided but most of the apples were more symmetrical and had a pronounced conical silhouette. These are moderately ribbed and firm, with a clenched calyx and small light lenticels (many surrounding a tiny dark spot). The unbroken apple has a lovely lush aroma with hints of melon.
Wow! What a surprising bouquet of flavors. Okay, the light yellow flesh is juicy and crunchy crisp, on the coarser end of fine-grained. This is a sweet apple with notes of honey, pineapple, and banana. There's even a little something suggestive of coconut. These tastes are most prominent in the first few bites, after which the sweetness starts to overwhelm them.
Many of the tried-and-true industrial apples—Fuji, Braeburn, and Gala, for instance—aim for the same cluster of taste buds. Piñata is in that sugary neighborhood but brings some wonderful new flavors courtesy of its maternal grandparents, Cox's Orange Pippin and Duchess of Oldenberg. This apple is sweet enough for modern sensibilities but offers some bold new tastes. I have to believe it will prove popular; it should certainly give apple lovers something to think about.
Piñata was bred near Dresden, Germany, and introduced under the name Pinova in 1986. It is also known as Sonata and Corail. The fruit has its own web site and--check it out--facebook page.
Update: And, in late April, a hint of mustard!