Above: Corrado e Riccardo Massimino
Microcitrus australasica originated in the Queensland rainforest. The fruit is also defined as vegan caviar, as its flesh represents an alternative to the traditional sturgeon caviar and can satisfy even the most demanding palates.
The elegant juice vesicles have a flavour similar to that of citrus fruit but with a more delicate texture, meaning it pairs well with the finest foods.
"In addition to growing in the subtropical forest, finger limes are cultivated as well and are commonly used in the restaurant industry. After studying the soil, climate and humidity conditions in our area, we decided to grow them ourselves and established the 'Caviale dell'Etna' brand."
The characteristics of Sicilian finger limes
"We started collaborating with CREA Acireale, which helped us understand how to grow this fruit. Over the years, we have also found out that the volcanic soil leads the fruit to developing a truly unique flavour."
"Our orchard includes 9 plant varieties on 3 hectares. Blossoming occurs in spring although some varieties have multiple cycles. Harvesting occurs from September onward. This in turn means fruit of different varieties is available throughout the year."
Above: Sicilian finger lime jam
Most of the produce is sold fresh, while 30% is used to make 100 gram jam jars and 500 ml liqueur bottles. The spirit will become available soon with the commercial name of 'Caviamar'. It would be the first spirit in the world obtained from the infusion of Sicilian finger limes, to which spices and aromatic herbs are added according to a secret recipe. The restaurant business in Italy, Europe and the US has already shown its interest. The jam is made with finger limes and cinnamon and is called 'CaviarCream'.
"Our products are demanded by the international fine dining business and we have clients in two continents. We are certain that our Sicilian products will soon be available all over the world."