And who says that to taste an exotic fruit we must be satisfied with those from far off countries?
Did you know that we have an all-Italian one? Its name is Annona and is also grown in our territory!
That’s right, even in our country it is possible to taste an Italian exotic fruit, indeed, I’ll tell you more: it has been consumed by Calabrian families for over 200 years.
And that’s not all: this particular fruit with a simply delicious taste, has recently obtained the Municipal Denomination of Origin and has become a made in Italy product by all respects.
I’m about to reveal how it arrived in the Calabrian territory, given that it originated in Ecuador and because it found fertile ground on the Ionian coast and in the pre-hilly areas of Reggio.
You just have to keep reading to find out.
Origins and history of the annona, the exotic fruit that grows in Italy
Of Ecuadorian origins, the annona arrived in our country in the nineteenth century and found an ideal environment in wonderful Calabria, a land full of many other excellent products.
You will like to know that it is a good and healthy fruit, with a soft pulp, fragrant and rich in sugar.
It takes its name from the tree that produces it, a rustic bush typical of South American countries that exceeds two meters in height.
But I will tell you more that it is characterized by a completely green skin and with particular growths that make it look like a pine cone, while the pulp has a cream-white color.
The plant blooms from mid-spring to late summer, producing its fruit gradually from September to December.
The ideal months to taste it are the last months of the year, as once they are harvested they mature quickly and cannot be stored for a long time.
The Annona plant has got so used to the Calabrian territory that a typical variety of the area is also cultivated.
Just think that in 1797 the Annona Cherimola was first sowed at the Botanical Garden of Palermo, while in the Calabrian city it settled in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Today you can admire it on the seafront of Falcomatà, in Reggio Calabria, inland and in the neighboring towns, as well as in the gardens of ancient villas or in the gardens of very old buildings.
How to taste the “Calabrian” annona
Do you know the best way to taste the annona cultivated in Calabria? Thanks to its sweet and aromatic taste, it vaguely recalls the taste of banana, pear, strawberry, pineapple and other tropical fruits.
It is very tasty cold, either naturally or sliced or even cut in half and dug out with a spoon.
But you could delight your taste buds while using it to prepare cakes, ice cream, jams just like in the Calabrian capital.
Just as good as other excellent Italian fruit, the annona has many other advantages besides the pleasant taste, in fact it is rich in:
- Vitamin C
You will certainly be happy to know that it doesn’t contain any fat and is low in calories and this means that you can eat it without having to worry about your figure!
Before concluding I want to tell you a secret: if you do not find it easily in supermarkets, you could try to buy the seeds and grow them in your apartment or in a properly heated greenhouse.
The ideal would be to have a beautiful garden to plant the shrub in, and see its wonderful fruit grow every year!