Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chinotto di Savona

A couple of years ago I found an interesting article about a forgotten citrus fruit that in the least two centuries was commonly found in the restaurants of Liguria (North-West coast of Italy). The Chinotto di Savona is a cultivar of the Myrtle-leaved orange and the plants not taller than 5 feet produces small round greenish fruits that discolor to orange at full maturity. The fruits are eaten only after a complex transformation. First the chinotti are washed and traditionally a very thin layer of the external surface is peeled out. The fruits are put in a 10% salt water solution for 20 days. Change the water every 4-5 days. This procedure will attenuate the bitter taste. The fruits are now ready for the most important step: the sugaring (canditura). The fruits are immerged in boiling sugar syrup for 10-15 minutes. Leave the chinotti in the syrup for 24 hours. Than increase the % of sugar and repeat the step for 5 to 6 days in order to allow the chinotti to assume a translucent discoloration. The fruits are conserved in the syrup or more traditionally put in Maraschino for 5-6 days before tasting. Simply gorgeous! The Chinotto di Savona is a presidium of slow food (http://www.slowfoodfoundation.org).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Trichopilia soavis

Sunday morning I have little more time to take care of my orchids. In winter is important that flowers and leaves are not wet at night, so I irrigate early in the morning. Yesterday entering the greenhouse an irresistible perfume shoved in my nostrils. Not so penetrating as the smell of Citrus aurantium cvs chinotto di Savona flowers that have appeared last week on a 5 months grafted plantlets, but a discrete, little spicy and sweet perfume. Finally it's blooming! After four years my Trichopilia soavis is blooming!