Red Boskoop

Red Boskoop 9.22.09Today at 2:00 PM the weather station at the Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL) read 104 degrees F and 3% relative humidity (that’s 3%, not 30%) and 20 mph winds; not exactly ideal fall weather for crisp, juicy apples.  On days like today if you see big, billowy clouds over the mountains they’re not thunderstorms, but firestorms from the wildfire in the mountains.  One consolation is that it will get down to 56 degrees tonight, cool enough to need a few blankets. 

Another consolation is this little tree pictured above, Red Boskoop.  If you count carefully you’ll see 9 apples on it, besides the one I picked.  Despite the name the apples are not red, and actually are really ugly.  But when I bit into one, all that was forgotten; as soon as my teeth sank in for the first time I knew this was a great apple; crisp, very juicy, sweet, very tart, tingly.  After swallowing your mouth still tingles a while.

The description off our updated Apple List is as follows;

Boskoop, Red A modern redder strain of Belle de Boskoop, which originated in the Netherlands in 1850.  The whitish-green flesh is firm and dense.  Belle de Boskoop is essentially a dual-purpose apple, suitable for both dessert and culinary uses. It works equally well in a savory salad, or can be used sliced in apple pie.  It keeps its shape when baked into a pie, and can be used as the “sharp” ingredient for cider.  We harvested our first ones this year, and they were wonderful in our climate; juicy, tart, sweet, crisp, and extremely productive (9 full-sized apples on a tiny little 2′ tall M27 tree).  It supposedly improves in storage, which we may never find out as I can tell we’ll be eating these.  I bet it would make a killer pie.  Ripens mid-October; tested excellent for Southern California.

I’m going to give it a few more weeks to ripen to see if it improves, and then will try to store one a while to see if they do indeed improve in storage.  Either way this fall I’m going to graft it onto a more vigorous rootstock, as we’ll be wanting more of these gems.

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