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Coeur de Boeuf Apples
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Coeur de Boeuf apples are large, flat, and globose, averaging nine centimeters in diameter. The skin is smooth and green to light yellow with red-purple streaking almost covering the entire surface of the fruit. There may also be some slight ribbing and speckling. The flesh is soft and light green with pink veins and has a central fibrous core that forms a star-shape when sliced in half encasing a few small, brown seeds. Coeur de Boeuf apples are subacid with sweet, fruity, and aromatic flavors.
The Coeur de Boeuf apple is available from late fall through spring.
The Coeur de Boeuf apple is a very old, medieval French variety of Malus domestica from at least the 1200s. The parentage is unknown since it is such an old variety. Some experts believe it is the same as the De Rouviau apple, also from France.
Apples are a nutritious food, with plenty of nutrients present with few calories. One medium-sized apple has about 100 calories and no cholesterol, fat, or sodium. They do have 4 grams of dietary fiber and some Vitamin C, along with smaller amounts of nutrients such as Vitamin B and boron. Apples help maintain digestive and immune system health and help prevent chronic diseases as part of a healthy diet.
The Coeur de Boeuf apple is primarily a cooking apple. When cooked into a sauce, it breaks down into an unusual lemon-yellow colored puree. Pair with traditional apple spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Coeur de Boeuf keeps well, and will remain edible for several months in cool, dry storage conditions. They are most often picked in October and eaten a few weeks later from November through March.
The name “Coeur de Boeuf” literally means Ox Heart in French, so named because the large shape and dark red color of this apple resembles an ox’s heart.
With ancient varieties of apples such as the Coeur de Boeuf from 13th century France, it is very hard to know the full history of the fruit. It is particularly difficult to know if what was once called the Coeur de Boeuf is the same apple with that name today. Over the years, it may have gotten confused with an apple called the De Rouviau, which appeared in France around the same time and was still eaten there by the 19th century.