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Framboise apples are conical or oblong and somewhat small—around 2¼ inches around. The most distinctive aspect of the Framboise apple is its coloring. This apple has a dark maroon, almost black or blue skin, one the reasons it is most commonly called a Violette apple. Inside, the yellow-white flesh is often red or pink right under the skin. It is firm in texture, fine grained, melting, juicy, and aromatic. The taste has notes of raspberries or flowers; some say it tastes like its name, violets.
Framboise apples are available in the fall and winter.
The Framboise apple, an antique European variety of Malus domestica, has many names. It is most commonly called the Violette apple, but can also be called the Black Apple, the Black Prince, Framboox, and Reinette Vileet, among many other variations. Since it is so old, the parentage of the Framboise is not known.
Apples are a source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. One medium apple contains 17% of the daily recommended value of fiber and 14% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C. Apples also contain other antioxidants and phytochemicals that contribute to overall health, and play a part in preventing chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes.
The Framboise apple is both a dessert apple, good for eating fresh out of hand, and a good cooking apple. Apples pair well with cheddar cheese, pork, and warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. When the Framboise is pressed, it produces a pink, flavorful juice. This apple does not keep particularly well, and should be eaten within about a month when kept in the refrigerator.
The name of this apple reflects the flavors that eaters through the last 400 years have tasted. Framboise is the French word for raspberry, while Violette, its other common name, means violet.
This is one of the older varieties of apples that can still be found growing and marketed today. Its exact origins and its parentage are unknown, but it likely first grew in France or the Netherlands in the early 1600s. It later traveled to England. The first mention made of it in the literature was in 1771 by a Dutch pomologist. Framboise apple trees are very vigorous, growing best in temperate climates in western Europe.