Blood Oranges and Citrus

I'm crazy about blood oranges, the Sicilian cultivars Tarocco, Sanguinello and especially Moro.  The flavors are complex: tart citrus with hints of berry, far more interesting than the overly sweet but lacking acidity international oranges found worldwide.  A glass of deep purple Moro juice is bliss. These special Sicilian oranges are available only in cold weather months.  I usually buy by the case from either http://www.learancerossedisicilia.it/ or http://www.arance.it/.

Lemons in Italy aren’t simply lemons.  The very best are geographically identified, with dozens of regional cultivars and mutations.  If you look at the paintings of Bartolmeo Bimbi you’ll realize how many we’ve lost.  I’m hooked on Sorrento, Amalfi and Sicilian lemons, especially when they’re fresh and ripe, totally edible—skin, pith and pulp.  I get lemons from Don Alfonso, in exchange for some work I did for them a few years ago (no money, I prefer lemons).  And from Solagri, outside Sorrento, with beautiful lemon groves that belong to villas along the coast.  

Giovanni Mandara is from Tramonti, a village above Amalfi, but has transferred to Reggio Emilia where he has a terrific pizzeria, Piccola Piedigrotta, and a most interesting operation, Pizzaiuolo on the Road, featuring a trailer with oven and all necessities for his first-rate pizza.  Every once in a while he sends me lemons from his village, related to the spindle-shaped Amalfi Sfusato I know I’m lucky. 

In Sicily I opt for the Siracusa lemons or the Interdonato, a citron-lemon hybrid grafted on a bitter orange tree, from the province of Messina.  My sources are http://www.agrinovabio2000.it/ and https://www.facebook.com/LimoneInterdonato/.


 

Also in the Pantry...