Clementines of Calabria PGI

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Clementines of Calabria PGI

The Clementines of Calabria PGI are generally consumed fresh thanks to their captivating flavor. However, they are also widely used in the preparation of sorbets, juices, syrups, and jams. It is a product highly popular in Calabria, so much so that the production areas are concentrated in the plain areas throughout the region. Specifically, they are found in the Plain of Sibari and Corigliano in the Cosenza area, the Plain of Lamezia in the Catanzaro area, the Plain of Gioia Tauro-Rosarno, and the Locride in the Reggio area. In just 58 municipalities in Calabria, nearly half of the regional citrus area is concentrated, distributed as follows: Reggio Calabria Province 20 municipalities; Catanzaro Province 14 municipalities; Cosenza Province 16 municipalities; Vibo Province 5 municipalities; Crotone Province 3 municipalities. Clementines are believed to originate from Algeria, and their name is said to be derived from Father Clément Rodier of Misserghin, in whose garden they were allegedly discovered. They are a cross between a bitter orange and a mandarin, and in Calabria, they were first cultivated in the midst of the two wars. The PGI label, however, was registered in 1997. Cultivation spread sporadically starting from 1950 thanks to the mild climate that favors their development and enhances the qualitative characteristics, both intrinsic and extrinsic, of the fruit, which ripens very early in Calabria. The first harvest, in fact, takes place as early as the beginning of October, and the last one in February. The varieties present include: Spinoso, SRA 63, Comune, Hernandina, Fedele, Tardivo, Hernandina, Marisol, and Nules. They are distinguished by the total absence (or minimal presence) of seeds and the richness in vitamins. Due to their high vitamin C content, just a couple of fruits a day are enough to meet the daily needs of an adult. Clementines are also rich in minerals including potassium, essential for regulating water content in tissues, thus ensuring proper heart function. Aromatic and very sweet, Calabria PGI Clementines are easy to peel, as their skin is smooth and very thin. They have a slightly flattened spherical shape, with minimum dimensions of 16-18 mm. The smooth, dark orange peel encloses a juicy and aromatic pulp. Calabria Clementines are refreshing and diuretic, with a high content of available sugars. In the kitchen, they can be consumed fresh or used to prepare juices, syrups, sorbets, and jams. The fruit is also used in cosmetics in the preparation of toning lotions and skin masks.

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