THE CHINOTTO DI SAVONA
A UNIQUE PLANT
The Chinotto di Savona has been cultivated by the Parodi Alessandro farm in the hinterland of Final Borgo for three generations.
THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME
The scientific name of Chinotto di Savona is Citrus Aurantium bitter variety and sinensis sub-variety, and it seems to derive from the natural mutation that took place over time of the bitter orange. One of the first historical sources of the chinotto dates back to the 17th century.
It was named Aurantium Sinense in 1646 by Giovanni Battista Ferrari who described the chinotto as a citrus fruit that “has a minimal part of pulp, the innermost body contains nine or ten orange wedges, pleasantly acidic, without seeds.” It is surprising that this seedless citrus fruit was known in Italy from as early as the seventeenth century.
THE CHINOTTO PLANT
The Chinotto plant is an evergreen citrus fruit growing no more than 3-4 metres, on which an incredible wealth of white and fragrant flowers grows in clusters.
The fruit of the Chinotto di Savona is compact, spherical and flattened at the base, no larger than a mandarin, with a bright green colour that turns orange over time. The skin of the Chinotto di Savona is thin, very fragrant and rich in aromatic and digestive substances.
WHERE IT IS GROWN
This particular citrus variety is productively grown only in Liguria, in a small coastal area of the province of Savona between the Municipalities of Varazze and Pietra Ligure, up to a maximum altitude of 300 metres above sea level.
WHEN IT IS HARVESTED
The Chinotto di Savona is picked from mid-September to mid-December. It must be done strictly by hand with the use of special rounded scissors so as not to damage the tender and fragile branches of the plant.
INTERESTING FACTS ON
CHINOTTO OF SAVONA
There are different types of chinotto: the Savona one has evident morphological differences with other varieties grown in the Mediterranean basin, such as blueberry for example.
The main difference is the fact that the Chinotto di Savona, unlike the blueberry, is seedless (any it has are few and flat) and this characteristic means they can be used in a number of different ways.
Another difference concerns the size of the leaves: in the blueberry they are small, while in the chinotto they are larger. Finally, in the Chinotto di Savona the skin is very thin while the blueberry skin is thick and rough.
An important difference to highlight between blueberry and Chinotto di Savona concerns the amount of vitamin C that the two citrus fruits contain in the same ripening phase: blueberry stands at a value of 42 mg/Kg while Chinotto di Savona reaches 332 mg/kg.
Is the Chinotto di Savona second only to the lemon for the citrus fruit that contains the most vitamin C?
In fact, in past centuries chinotto were consumed by sailors (during long transoceanic crossings) to combat scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, which was frequent and very often fatal.
In 1800 the Royal Navy (British military navy) bought in Savona the barrels of chinotto stored in sea water.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
In the 19th century chinotto production was so widespread and important in the Savona area that on 10 July 1887 a company of chinotto producers was established which would eventually number as many as 152 members.
Since it was a product intended for candying, the Chinotto di Savona was sold by number and according to a predetermined weight and diameter.
The diameter was measured by passing the fruit through rings of different sizes.
I PRODOTTI A BASE DI
BASED PRODUCTS OF
CHIN'ORO has clear orange blossom aromas inserted in a balanced and delicate taste profile with pleasantly acidic and slightly sour hints. Extremely versatile in the kitchen: marinades, raw and uncooked fish, shellfish, meat tartare, fish or meat skewers, bresaola and various salads. It is also suitable for flavouring sweet cakes or biscuits.
WORKING HARD SINCE 2004
WHAT IS SLOW FOOD?
Slow Food is an international non-profit association with 100,000 members, volunteers and supporters in 150 countries, 1,500 convivia – the local branches – and a network of 2,000 communities that practice small-scale, sustainable, quality food production .
Founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986, Slow Food works to promote interest in food as a bringer of pleasure, culture, traditions, identity, and a lifestyle, as well as food, respectful of local territories and traditions.
Slow Food’s motto is good, clean and fair. Three basic adjectives that define the characteristics that food must have. Good in relation to the sense of pleasure deriving from the organoleptic qualities of a food, but also to the complex sphere of feelings, memories and identity implications deriving from the sentimental value of food; clean or produced with respect for ecosystems and the environment; fair, which means that it conforms to the concepts of social justice in production and marketing environments.