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Spijon apples are medium to large in size and are round to conical in shape, averaging 5-10 centimeters in diameter. The smooth, waxy skin has a yellow to green base and is covered in dark red to crimson blush. The flesh is light yellow, firm, and juicy with a few medium-sized dark brown seeds encased in a central, fibrous core. When sliced in half, the core forms the shape of a five-petaled flower and connects to a long, thin, dark brown stem. Spijon apples are considered subacid, which makes them mildly sweet with some tartness and notes of spice.
Spijon apples are available in late fall and winter.
Spijon apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a twentieth-century American variety that was created at the New York Agricultural Experimental Station in 1968. It took over twenty years for the Spijon apple to be fully developed and the parentage includes red spy and monroe. Being a late season or winter apple, Spijon apples are commonly used as a dessert and fresh eating apple and were created to help extend the apple growing season.
Spijon apples are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and also contain smaller amounts of nutrients such as vitamin B and boron.
Spijon apples are best suited for raw applications as they can be eaten fresh, out of hand, sliced into salads, or consumed by itself as a healthy snack. Spijon apples are considered a good dessert apple, so it is often served after dinner as a sweet and tangy treat. They can also be processed and cooked down into applesauce and sauces. Pair Spijon apples with classic apple spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. They will keep for several months in a cool and dark place such as the refrigerator.
Many modern American varieties of apples, such as Spijon apples, were developed at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, which opened in 1882. The station has created over fifty-seven new varieties of apples including the cortland, empire, and macoun, and has used scientific methods to improve agricultural practices and products throughout the state.
Spijon apples were first developed in 1944 at the New York Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, New York. After over twenty years of testing, it was released to market in 1968. Spijon apples can be found today at specialty markets across the United States.