Lemons from Amalfi, Italy
The Amalfi coast, in the Italian region of Campania, is the land of lemons! Grown on terraces, lemon trees cover the mountainsides and produce highly prized, particularly aromatic fruits. And, as a food, lemons can be found everywhere, in the glass as a drink as well as on the plate!
The Amalfi lemon has been awarded PGI (Protected Geographical Indication, given by the European Commission to protect and promote named regional food products that have a reputation or noted characteristics specific to an area). They have this accolade because they are special among lemons as you will learn if you read on. But first, a little on the history of the lemon.
Historically, the lemon (limone in Italian) apparently arrived from Asia and was already being cultivated in the Mediterranean basin in Roman times (they can be seen in the frescoes of Pompeii for example). It thrived in the mild and sunny climate and was particularly valued in ports. From the 10th century the Amalfi Maritime Republic was a rich and important trading hub and lemons were much valued. They were the only fruits that would keep for long periods of time, so they could be transported long distances by ship and were a good source of vitamin C that could be used to fight scurvy. Because they were taken all over the world, Amalfi lemons became famous, especially in America.Over the centuries, careful selection has been used to produce the varieties we know today, the Sfusato Amalfitano and Limone di Sorrento being the famous Amalfi lemon types.
Lemons like no other
If all lemons are known for their medicinal virtues, Amalfi lemons have the peculiarity of being larger than most lemons found in shops (they weigh at least 80 g). Their shape also differs: they are often slightly longer and their apex is more pointed. Their peel is also thicker, and contains a rich and perfumed essential oil with a beautiful acidity, distinctly different from the so-called “classic” lemons. With a particularly juicy pulp and few seeds, they are perfect for making lemon pies, but also drinks, for example, homemade Limoncello. A powerful antioxidant and very rich in vitamin C, this lemon is attributed with many beneficial properties. Consumed sweet or salty, fresh or candied, in the form of zest or juice, Amalfi lemon is an integral part of local cuisine. It is a fruit that makes its country proud!
Organic, traditionally cultivated and no waste
This is THE main characteristic of Amalfi lemons: they are rustic, so they are not artificially treated before, during or after their cultivation. Their producers respect ancient farming methods, are respectful of their environment, and pick them by hand directly from the lemon tree. All these reasons, combined with the incomparable flavour and virtues of Amalfi lemon, mean that you can eat everything in the fruit, without throwing anything away.
It’s no wonder that the revered, superbly flavoured Amalfi lemon has been chosen as an ingredient for 7Marvels’ macarons!