Red Chinese Mulberries
The Red Chinese mulberry tree is a broad, spreading bush or small tree dotted with small thorns. Like its mulberry relatives, the fruits are technically not a berries but rather aggregates of tiny fleshy drupes clustered around a single stem
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
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Modi apples are best recognized by their uniform dark purple-red color. They are medium in size and conical. Modis have firm, yellowish flesh that is crisp and juicy. The flavor is mild and nicely balanced between tart and sweet.
Modi apples are available from fall through spring.
Modi apples are a recent modern variety of Malus domestica developed in Italy—they are a cross between Gala and Liberty apples at a modern research facility. Modi apple trees are easy to grow especially as they are resistant to scab and other diseases. The name Modi points to this apple’s Italian origins. Modi was the nickname for Madigliani, a famous Italian artist known for his use of intense red colors, similar to the color of this apple.
Apples contain many beneficial nutrients, and are a great part of a healthy diet. Their main nutrients include Vitamin C, which helps the immune system, along with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid the cardiovascular and digestive systems respectively.
This is a good all-around apple, and can be eaten fresh out of hand or used in cooking or baking. As with other apples, pair with cheese or bake into pies, crisps, muffins, and more spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Modis store relatively well in the refrigerator.
Like many modern apples, Modis were developed by commercial growers who were specifically looking to breed a certain kind of apple. In this case, Modi was developed with environmental issues in mind. Because it is resistant to disease, growers need to spray these apple trees with fewer pesticides, also saving money. They also can tolerate heat and dry climates, meaning they need less water. Scientists have even measured the carbon footprint of Modis—researchers at the University of Bolzano measured the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the Modi growing process.
The Consorzio Italiano Vivaist in Italy first brought Modi apples to market in the 2000s. They were introduced to the US in 2014. Modis grow best in warm, sunny, dry, low-elevation areas. In the US, they are particularly well-suited to California, which has suffered drought in recent years. They are also grown in Australia, Turkey, Russia, Serbia, and Uruguay.
Recipes that include Modi Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.