WENATCHEE, WA -- An ample supply of premium Piñata apples is giving
shoppers another reason to celebrate in the new year. Grown exclusively in
Washington state by Stemilt Growers, Piñata apples are making their way back
onto store shelves following a successful nationwide debut last January.
"Piñata is a variety that thrives in eastern Washington's arid climate, and the
2010 harvest was no exception," Roger Pepperl, Stemilt's marketing director,
said in a Jan. 3 press release. "Moderate summer temperatures combined with
maturing trees to produce the highest quality crop of Piñatas that we've seen
yet. We're anticipating a great year for Piñata at retail."
A cross between Golden Delicious and two heirloom varieties from Europe --
Cox's Orange Pippin and the Duchess of Oldenburg -- Piñata is a high-sugar,
high-acid apple that is both crisp and juicy with a classic apple flavor and
Piñata is a result of nearly two decades of development at the apple-breeding
program in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany. Following its 1986 release in Europe,
the apple quickly made a name for itself under the names Pinova and Sonata,
and was even selected as the 2001 Apple of the Year in Germany. In 2004, the
Mathison family and their company, Stemilt, purchased the exclusive rights to
grow and market this apple in the United States, quickly changing its name to
Piñata in order to convey better the apple's stimulating attributes.
The Mathisons have been farming in eastern Washington since 1893, when
the first generation homesteaded 160 acres on Stemilt Hill near Wenatchee,
WA. Six generations have partaken in the family's farming tradition, with a
focus on quality and innovation guiding them through each decade. In recent
years, new variety development has taken center stage at Stemilt, with
orchard blocks set aside to test new varieties of apples.
To further make 2011 a successful year for Piñata, Stemilt has a full line-up
of marketing programs for retailers to take advantage of. A new, easy-to-
assemble pop-up display will be making its way into stores this month. The
display highlights the heirloom heritage of Piñata and a few of the apple's
unique attributes. It also has a QR code and text-in number that takes
shoppers to a mobile site where they can get more information on Piñata,
including free recipes.
Beyond its snazzy name and heirloom heritage, Piñata is one of the more
versatile apples available today. The crisp and juicy texture makes it great for
eating fresh out of hand, while its ability to resist browning when sliced
means that it's an ideal choice for fresh salads. Piñata has the same thin skin
and fine-grained texture as a Golden Delicious, which means it doesn't break
down when exposed to high temperatures for cooking.
For more information and delicious Piñata recipes, go to www.stemilt.com.
Piñata is also a social apple, so be sure to become a fan of it on Facebook: