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Chinotto

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Chinotto from Savona is a small fruit grown exclusively in the western portion of Liguria, between Varazze and Finale Ligure, although the plant actually originated in China.

Imported from the east in the sixteenth century, the myrtle-leaved orange tree (Citrus myrtifolia) has bright green fruits. When fresh, they have a bitter taste, but they’re usually candied or preserved with syrup.
Around 1500, a sailor from Savona brought these fruits back from the Land of the Rising Sun and found the local climate extremely suitable to their cultivation. They actually developed amazing features, thanks to the particularly mild climate.

In 1877, the famous Silvestre-Allemand, candying plant, moved from France to Italy, namely Liguria. The premature ripening of the fruits with a thick, and fragrant skin proved ideal for candying purposes, creating the basis of a long tradition.
At the end of 1800, the “Society of Chinotti” cooperative was founded in Savona, thoroughly organizing and supervising cultivation and further processing of these products.
For many years, people from Savona used to offer tumblers of chinotto at Christmas, although this very tradition seemed to disappear eventually.
In recent years, that ancient confectionery tradition was restored – it has also been acknowledged as official “Slow Food” – while today chinotto has become a vital ingredient for preserves, mustard, soft amaretti, as well as the typical “Souvenir of Savona” according to massive marketing campaigns.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

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Savona(SV)

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