It’s healthy and it serves both the food and fragrance industry. It’s the Siracusa Lemon, an example of genuine Italian and local excellence. After having been part of the Sicilian farming for over 2000 years, it received Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in 2011.
The arrival of the lemon in Sicily
The lemon, one of the jewels in the crown of Sicilian production, is the result of the hybridisation between sour orange and citron. From the Sub-Himalayan region, it spread across the Persian, Hebrew and Arab civilisations all the way to Sicily, Spain and the Western Mediterranean.
The characteristics of the terroir of the Siracusa Lemon
In Italy, over 12,000 hectares of land are allotted for cultivating lemons. 40% of them are grown in the Siracusa region, over a 5,300 ha area. In 2011 the Siracusa Lemon was deemed Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). The fertile plain stretches along the Ionian coasts, over an area 50 km long and 10 km wide. The farming area encompassing 10 municipalities in the province of Siracusa - including Avola and the very capital Siracusa - is quite homogeneous throughout, both from the point of view of the varieties cultivated and the level of specialisation of farmers and their company structure.
lying between the sea and the Syracusan inland makes the perfect terroir for lemons, with the ideal combination of climate, soil, farming practices and human activities.
The Siracusa Lemon PGI
The Siracusa Lemon PGI is the fruit of a cultivar named Femminello - because of the fertility of the plant flowering all year round - in its seasonal varieties: “primoﬁore”, (from October to March, green peel), “bianchetto” (from April to June, lemon-yellow peel) e “verdello” (from July to September, light green peel).
Juice and Versatility
What makes the Siracusa Lemon unique is a high juice content and abundance of oil glands in the peel, as well as the high quality of its essential oils. It makes a wonderful condiment, a thirst-quenching beverage and a powerful digestive. And there is a great demand of Siracusa Lemon essential oils coming from the cosmetics and perfume industry worldwide.