Vitamin journey through the citrus fruits of Calabria PDO and PGI

Branded citrus fruits among the excellences of Calabrian agribusiness
VV-Capo Vaticano 38[Luca Fregola]

© Luca Fregola

Food and wine

A land kissed by the sun for most of the year, lying between two seas and green in the centre of its hinterland, Calabria is the ideal habitat for a number of species of delicious indigenous citrus fruits, whose uniqueness is unrepeatable in the entire Mediterranean Basin.

There are 4 citrus fruits from Calabria with the PDO and PGI marks and they represent the most fragrant and genuine expression of the fragrances, flavours and healthiness of the territories of origin, which range from the north to the south of the region, from the Tyrrhenian to the Ionian Sea.

Follow us, we offer you a vitamin juice with the best of Calabrian citrus fruits on a journey that smells of orange blossoms in bloom.

Lemons of Rocca Imperiale PGI

The journey of discovery of the citrus fruits of Calabria starts from the town of Rocca Imperiale, on the Ionian coast of Cosenza.

We are in the undisputed homeland of Lemons of Rocca Imperiale PGI, a special variety of Calabrian lemons that ripen in the sunshine of the Ionian coast, on hills planted with centuries-old lemon groves whose peculiarity is their multiple blossoming (four times a year), so much so that we refer to these fruits as "re-flowering lemons".

The Rocca Imperiale lemon is the only "lemon that you can eat", as local producers, part of the Consortium Lemon of Rocca Imperiale PGI, like to reiterate, recalling its unmistakable sweetness on the palate.

Limoni Rocca Imperiale
Regione Calabria

Another distinguishing feature is the seedless pulp, from which juices, syrups and jams are made, and the skin with slimming properties, perfect for obtaining essential oils for cosmetics, perfumery and gastronomy.

Tasting the Lemon of Rocca Imperiale means tasting an aspect of its territory, which as its name suggests is a fortress facing the sea, identified by the monumentality of the Swabian Castle and the atorical village laid out at its foot like a nativity scene.

Rocca Imperiale
Regione Calabria

Clementines of Calabria PGI

Let us remain on the Ionian Sea in the province of Cosenza, moving a little further south to the lush Sibari Plain, between the territories of Corigliano-Rossano and Cassano all'Ionio.

It is here that the delicious Clementines of Calabria PGI blossom and ripen, another excellence of Calabrian agri-foodstuffs that in recent years has found expression in many derivatives, as well as in the consumption of the pure fruit.

The Clementines of Calabria (Citrus Clementina) are a hybrid citrus fruit that originates from a cross between bitter orange and mandarin, a graft born by chance in the early 1900s, when the French missionary Clément Rodier (hence the name) introduced it directly from Algeria.

Regione Calabria

Clementines are not the sole prerogative of this area, since they are more or less spread throughout the region (with a large production also in the Gioia Tauro Plain and along the Ionian coast of Reggio Calabria). However, in the Sibaritide they are processed and packaged in a variety of innovative products ranging from juices to icings, including of course the pure fruit, which differs from other citrus fruits on the market in its sweetness and seedlessness.

Not to be missed during a trip to this area? The Ducal Castle in Corigliano, the Codex Diocesan Museum in Rossano and the National Archaeological Park of the Sibaritide.

Regione Calabria

Cedar of Santa Maria del Cedro PDO

We move to the opposite coast, the Tyrrhenian coast in the province of Cosenza, which takes its name from its native citrus fruit: the Riviera dei Cedri.

This is the territory that gives rise to a unique fruit, the Cedar of Santa Maria del Cedro PDO. An unmistakable citrus fruit belonging to the Citrus Medica, which grows on this coast in the Cedro Liscio Diamante variant, one of the most prized in the world, distinguished precisely by its smooth, shiny peel like a diamond, its colour is deep green and it is shaped like an elongated oval.

Regione Calabria

The Cedar of Calabria is not edible in its natural state, but needs to be processed, usually candied in gastronomy or extracted into essence in cosmetics. The history of the Calabrian cedar is closely linked to Jewish culture. Even today, every year between September and October, the Riviera dei Cedri is visited by hundreds of rabbis in search of the perfect citrons to use during one of their main festivals, the Feast of Sukkoth (or Feast of the Huts).

To learn all about the Calabrian cedar, its history and different uses, we recommend a visit to the Cedar Museum in Santa Maria del Cedro.

Regione Calabria

Bergamot of Reggio Calabria - Essential Oil PDO

Our vitamin-packed journey among the citrus fruits of Calabria ends on the shores of the Straits of Messina, in search of the prized Bergamot of Reggio Calabria.

The "Green Gold of Calabria" probably originates from the spontaneous mutation of other citrus fruits such as lemon, bitter orange and lime. The production area of the Bergamot of Reggio Calabria covers the various municipalities along the Ionian coast of Reggio Calabria, as far as the so-called Riviera dei Gelsomini.

Bergamot Essential Oil PDO, used in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries, is cold extracted from fruit with a thin, greenish skin and a bitter taste.

Regione Calabria

To learn all the secrets of the "king of Calabrian citrus fruits", it is necessary to visit the Citrus Museum of Reggio Calabria, where it is possible to admire the machinery used to extract the juice and essence, such as the famous "Gangeri" Bergamot Machine, derived from a model invented in 1840 by Nicola Barillà.

Museo del Bergamotto
Associazione Museo del Bergamotto e del Cibo

Ultimo aggiornamento: May 21, 2024 8:18 AM