Malus ‘Belle de Boskoop’

It’s that time of year again–UBC Botanical Garden is hosting its annual Apple Festival this weekend. Like most previous years on BPotD, we’re highlighting one of the 70+ apple cultivars available for sale (more for tasting and viewing). This year’s image is similar, but different, to the one that Taisha did last year of Malus ‘Okana’. Other previous entries: ‘Rubinette’, ‘Creston’, SPA493 (now known under the trade name Salish, one of my favourites), ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, ‘Golden Russet’, ‘Melrose’, ‘Elstar’, and ‘Jonagold’.

‘Belle de Boskoop’ has been in cultivation for over 150 years, originating as a chance seedling in or near the horticulturally-famous Boskoop, a town in The Netherlands. I don’t have any personal experience with this cultivar, other than tasting it today. I would like to say it is “out of this world” given the concept behind today’s image, but though I liked the acidity of the apple, the texture was a bit soft for me. From what sources suggest online, the edibility improves over time–time which one has, as it keeps for up to 6 months, with the flavour improving as it ages. My understanding from speaking with some of the Friends of the Garden is that it is also a very popular seller to people who grew up in northern Europe (in fact, one Danish commenter on another site mentions, “This is not considered an eating apple, but THE cooking apple for much of northern continental europe.” Read a review, plus this comment and many others here: ‘Belle de Boskoop’ on Adam’s Apples). To read more thoughts, also check out this ‘Belle de Boskoop’ review on The Fruit Gardener weblog (and additional comments).

There perhaps might be some questions about how today’s photograph was done. The photo was taken from inside my office, using external flash units for much of the lighting. The flash looks overdone for my taste, but dialing the flash down or adjusting the position of the flash units in order to create shadows on the surface of the apples resulted in the rain-droplet “stars” on the window pane being diminished, so choices were made. I would have preferred to have also gotten the shadow across the body of the apple effect that Taisha succeeded with in the ‘Okana’ photograph, but I think I would had to have made an exposure for that and an exposure for the background, then blended the two images together. As it is, the image-editing program was used to remove the narrow supports below the apples (which I also taped to the glass to stay in place).

Malus 'Belle de Boskoop'

5 responses to “Malus ‘Belle de Boskoop’”

  1. Ruth Brodie

    The belle de Boskoop is indeed a wonderful apple, Daniel. And we have so many more varieties bagged up for everyone to buy at the Apple Festival tomorrow and Sunday. It’s all gearing up to be a wonderful Apple Celebration, with pies and ciders, trees and candy apples as well!
    I also was intrigued by the fabulous photo of the Belle de Boskoop!

  2. Ron B

    One of the fruit in such pictures should be cut open to show the interior.

  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Ron — like a spaceship firing lasers and cutting one of them apart? I’ll try to add that in next year. I don’t recall Firefly-class vessels having lasers, though.

  4. Sharon

    The belle de Boskoop is a wonderful keeping apple and a favorite in our household. It is our preferred eating apple although also cook with it mostly at the end of winter.
    We had one tree and added two more trees two years ago. A wonderful addition to our small household orchard.

  5. Katherine

    It’s probably too late now, but if you can get some belle de Boskoop apples, you should store them for another month or so, then try them again. Your photo and comments intrigued me, and then I saw these apples at an orchard farm stand, so I bought them and did some research about what they are best for. Pies and strudel, evidently. But also, several comments from knowledgeable Boskoop eaters who said the texture and the sweetness both improve and you should hold the apples 10-12 weeks after harvest before eating or cooking, that they change quite a bit with storage.
    Anyway, I will try making a small pie.

Leave a Reply