Organic Sicilian citrus fruits are a priceless treasure: among the finest Sicilian products, they are a true excellence of the territory. Syracuse IGP lemon, IGP blood orange, Ribera DOP orange, Sicilian mandarin: have you ever tasted them? Very fresh naturally, they are also used and sought after for delicious products such as Limoncello
and the Mandarin liqueur
or for jams , spreads , jellies and syrups and flavored desserts .
Even the magnificent Sicilian chocolate of Modica PGI can be embellished with lemon and orange peel.
Let's get to know these refined and versatile products better.
What are the Sicilian organic citrus varieties?
In addition to the famous and much loved oranges, it is impossible not to mention the delicious Sicilian lemons. Among the oldest and most loved native citrus fruits.
The typical Femminello lemons of Syracuse , the blood and blonde oranges, and the tangerines grown and harvested in Sicily have a fragrance, a taste and nutritional and beneficial properties that are unique in the world, thanks to the mild climate and the fertile and draining soils of which the Island is rich.
Among the most valuable products we mention:
- the Syracuse PGI lemon , called Femminello Siracusano, with a high content of clear, pleasantly sour juice, few seeds, and a very rich percentage of essential oils;
- the Brazilian type Ribera DOP orange , Washington Navel and Navelina, grown in the province of Agrigento and in the municipality of Chiusa Sclafani, in the province of Palermo, with seedless fruits, blonde pulp with a sweet taste and an abundant yield in juice;
-the PGI Blood Orange of Sicily in the Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello varieties, produced in Catania, Enna, Ragusa and Syracuse and with a bright red pulp, due to the presence of anthocyanins or anthocyanins, very powerful antioxidant substances;
- the blond orange of Scillato , rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron and widely used in the production of traditional Sicilian desserts;
- the Ciaculli Late Mandarin , which owes its name to the hamlet where it was discovered during its ripening period, later than the more common varieties. The strong aroma, the sugar content, the thin skin, the presence of the seed, make the Tardivo di Ciaculli a unique and unmistakable mandarin.
What are the nutritional properties of organic Sicilian citrus fruits?
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C which has antioxidant properties and contributes to strengthening the immune system and can block the formation of potentially carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines.
Tardivo di Ciaculli is also rich in vitamins B1 and B2, which stimulate the appetite, growth, digestion and improve the respiratory system, they are suitable for the treatment of the nervous system.
They are perfect varieties for juices, jams, marmalades and juices, with a bright and unique taste and rich in healthy substances.
The patronal feast of Santa Lucia in Syracuse and the importance of the IGP Syracuse lemon
The city of Syracuse celebrates the patronal feast of Santa Lucia every year on December 13 with a procession from Piazza del Duomo in Ortigia to the Church of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro. On December 20, the procession takes the opposite route. Traditionally, on December 13th, the large candles at the corners of the statue are covered with triumphs of flowers, while on December 20th the silver simulacrum is flanked by candles decorated with lemons and oranges. The gift of the first fruits to the Syracusan Saint represented the route of the procession from the countryside to the city, when the area of Piazza Santa Lucia alla Borgata represented the northern border of the urbanization, and the definition of "city" was reserved for the island of Ortigia ".