Lemons are our authentic passion, a typical product of Sicily with many virtues: now fully entered among the most important citrus fruits of the Mediterranean diet and recommended for a healthy and correct diet, it is a very versatile fruit that lends itself to numerous and surprising uses.
The Villari Group follows all the natural flowering periods of the lemon. The most widespread variety in Sicily is the Femminello Siracusano, a name that brings to mind the great fertility of the plant and the production area, concentrated in the province of Syracuse. The ability to create blossoms several times a year and the particular soil and climatic conditions of Sicily allow the plants to offer an almost homogeneous production during the year.
The lemon plant flowers at three distinct times of the year, providing distinct types of fruit with specific characteristics. The flowering periods of the Femminello Siracusano produce: Primofiore, Bianchetto, Verdello (forced flowering carried out by specialised technicians and agronomists of the Villari Group).
Another variety of lemons of great value is that of the Interdonato Lemon, whose production is concentrated on the territory overlooking the Ionian coast of the province of Messina.
The winter flowering of the Femminello Siracusano, starting from October, produces the Primofiore: elliptical fruits, uniform yellow, with semi-rough and medium-thick peel. The pulp, yellow-citrine, provides an abundant juice with a strong flavour.
The Bianchetto is the spring lemon, the result of the second flowering of the Femminello Siracusano, which takes place in April: elliptical fruits, with semi-smooth peel of light yellow colour and yellow-citrine pulp, moderately juicy and rich in seeds. The fruits are on average larger than the Primofiore.
Summer gives us the Verdello, protagonist of the third flowering of the Femminello Siracusano, at the beginning of July: elliptical fruits, with fragrant fine-grained peel of intense green colour and a yellow-citrine pulp, which provides an abundant, slightly acidic juice.
Obtained in the second half of the 1800s from a graft between a citron and an “Ariddaru”, native lemon of the Messina area, the Interdonato Lemon owes its name to Colonel Giovanni Interdonato. It is a lemon known the world over for its organoleptic characteristics and for its appearance, especially in England, where it became a tea lemon much appreciated for its sweetness, aroma and richness of juice with low acidity.
The type of production is among those defined as “heroic”, as the Interdonato lemon trees are often found in terraces or ridges of rock overlooking the sea. The harvest takes place from the 1st of September to the 15th of April, exclusively by hand and with the use of scissors in order to avoid the detachment of the stem stub portion.
The fruits are usually oval with very pronounced umbo, peel that is yellow and fragrant, juice that is acidic and rich in precious substances, such as ascorbic acid and vitamin C.