OF SICILY GELATO SUMMIT
The late mandarin of Ciaculli
It is orange, small, with few seeds inside and very rich in vitamin C. Special features: it is very sweet! It is the late mandarin of Ciaculli, a citrus duci duci, with colors and scents reminiscent of the fiery Sicilian sunsets. And with very ancient origins. So, ready to take a trip back in time with us and discover this fruit? Once Palermo was the heart of the Conca d'Oro. The plain that surrounded the city until the middle of the last century was a unique, large garden that welcomed in the green of its citrus groves the travelers who concluded the Grand Tour here: a mythical place, told by poets and writers. In the period of maximum extension it covered about 15 thousand hectares of intensely cultivated land. The gardens reached up to 250 meters above sea level, held by dry stone walls: a complex of canals, wells and pumps guaranteed the regular supply of water. Today there is little left of the Conca d'Oro: in the last fifty years the cultivated land has been reduced by almost 80%, the city has spread and is still being built, with strong risks of hydrogeological instability. But one portion has remained intact: these are the villages of Ciaculli and Croceverde Giardina, cultivated almost entirely with mandarins and where, in the 40s, for a spontaneous mutation of the Havana mandarin, a new variety was born that ripened later, from January to March. which is why it is also called "marzuddu". Its aroma is unique, intense and persistent. The tardivo today is the most prestigious production of the consortium that brings together 65 small farmers - owners of a total of about 80 hectares - all of them substantially organic (the tardivo is resistant and does not require special treatments). Since 1999, the Consortium has been the only body protecting the Slow Food Presidium of the Ciaculli Late Mandarin and is the only one to guarantee strict controls on the product. Sicilian confectioners and ice cream makers use it for a variety of processed products: granitas, ice cream, jellies, juices, liqueurs. With the addition of a little lemon juice, jams, delicious jellies, soft candies and candied fruit, without losing perfume and properties.