IGP lemon from Rocca Imperiale

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IGP lemon from Rocca Imperiale

The “Antico” or “Nostrano di Rocca Imperiale” is the IGP lemon cultivated for hundreds of years in Rocca Imperiale and its surroundings. In addition to an intense yellow color and a very vigorous aroma, it also has a different shape from the classic ones. It presents itself with a weight ranging from 100 to 160 grams, with an elongated shape and excellent juice yield. It does not have many seeds, but a high content of limonene and precious natural essences of essential oils. A particular characteristic of the tree is that it produces different fruits in three distinct periods of the solar year. The “Primofiore” is harvested from March to April, the “Maiolino” from May to July, and the “Verdello” from August to October. Lemons benefit from the protection of the hills to the west, north, and south, and from the mitigating action of the sea to the southeast. It is therefore a real “natural oasis,” an environment that certainly positively influences the characteristics of the product. The Mediterranean climate guarantees that temperature values ​​do not exceed the thermal limits of citrus fruits. Furthermore, rainfall is well distributed, especially in the early cultivation phases where the availability of water from aquifers fed by the waters of the Pollino massif is exploited. Thanks to this microclimate, the lemons of Rocca Imperiale have high adaptability to the cultivation environment; ripening period coincides with the highest market demands; high productivity both in quality and quantity; in case of non-marketing for fresh consumption, possibility of industrial processing; good resistance to transportation and good shelf life. The oldest historical source found so far on the presence of lemons in Rocca Imperiale dates back to the seventeenth century. A curiosity? Farmers used an elementary empirical system, called “n tak,” to remember the quantities sold. They made a small notch on a wooden board each time the buying and selling operation was concluded. Lemon is used in various fields. Starting, obviously, from the food industry, to end with cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and flavoring. In ancient times, lemon was proposed as a “cure” to combat rheumatism and arthritis, and lemon was recommended to heal wounds, flu, and all infections, to counteract gastritis, prevent ulcers, and aid digestion. Lemon juice is also rich in citric acid. It is therefore an effective digestive, especially when diluted in warm water. It is also indicated to lower blood pressure and is a calming and tonic for the nervous system.

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