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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Monachello lemons are a large-sized variety with a thick, bright yellow rind with large dimpled oil glands. The fruit is elliptical and slightly elongated with a large protuberance at one end. The Italian lemons have a less flesh due to their thicker rind, yet they maintain a good amount of juice. Monachello lemons have a low acid content and offer a balanced flavor that is both tart and sweet.
Monachello lemons are available in the late winter, spring, and summer months.
Monachello lemons are one of the most widespread varieties of Citrus limon grown in Italy. It is suspected that Monachello lemons are a lemon-citron hybrid; the clues to the citrus’s parentage lying within the branches of its trees. The Italian lemons are highly resistant to a common disease in lemons called mal secco, and were widely planted in Italy for decades. Monachello lemons are primarily planted in areas of Italy where mal secco is particularly rampant.
Monachello lemons can be juiced, sliced or cut into sections. The most common use for Monachello lemons is for juice. Add fresh squeezed juice to marinades for chicken or fish. Fresh Monachello lemon juice can be fermented into lemonchello, a traditional Italian liquor. Sectioned Monachello lemons can be placed on dinner plates to be squeezed onto fish or used as a simple dressing.
Monachello lemons are native to Sicily, Italy and are still grown in the area. They are a difficult variety to preserve and are most often grown for what is called the “verdelli” process. This is a process by which water is withheld from the plant during the summer for up to 2 months, creating a moisture deficit in the tree. Once the tree has wilted to a certain point, the tree is given mass amounts of water and nitrogen fertilizer to affect a second blooming in the fall, resulting in an early summer crop the next year. Monachello lemons are grown this way to be sold as light green summer lemons at the markets in Italy. California began using this same technique for lemons in the early 1980s.