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Red Mutsu Apples
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The Red Mutsu is a medium to very large sized apple with a slightly oblong shape. They can grow up to 2¾ inches across, and are often too big to eat whole out of hand. The skin of the Red Mutsu is smooth and bright red in color. Its firm white flesh is crisp and juicy with an excellent honeyed, sweet-tart flavor that has subtle hints of spice. An excellent keeper, the Red Mutsu apple takes on an even sweeter flavor in cold storage.
Red Mutsu apples are available in the winter though summer.
Red Mutsu apples are a relatively uncommon variation of the more well-known Mutsu. Also known as Crispin, the Mutsu apple is a cross between the Golden Delicious and Indo apple, and botanically classified under the Malus domestica species. The bright vibrant red skin of the Red Mutsu may be caused by different pollinators such as the Jonathan or Red Rome Beauty apple varieties. A popular dessert apple in Japan where it was first developed, it is oftentimes referred to there as “the million dollar apple.”
Apples are low in calories, and have several healthy components, particularly 14% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C and 17% of the daily recommended value of dietary fiber. They also contain components such as boron, Vitamin B, and a host of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Apples do not have fat, sodium, or cholesterol.
Mutsus are a truly versatile apple, good for both fresh eating and cooking. They are also sometimes used in making cider. Fresh, they pair well with cheddar cheeses, and are good additions to salad. They keep their shape when cooked, so make a good pie variety. These apples can be stored for 3 to 6 months under proper cool, dry conditions.
This apple is an example of a variety that is important both commercially and as a garden tree. Mutsus are an important commercial variety for Japan, and are also grown commercially in the US and Canada. In England, Mutsus are a popular garden apple. However, the Red Mutsu is less common than regular Mutsus, available primarily in Japan. They are considered more beautiful than the regular Mutsu, and are generally more expensive.
Mutsus were developed in Japan at the Aomori Apple Research Station in Japan in 1930. The variety was named in 1948, after the Mutsu province in Japan, and renamed Crispin in England in 1968. They grow in moderate to warm climates. In Japan, they are mostly grown in the Aomori prefacture, followed by Iwate and Fukushima prefactures.