Cherimoya is an exotic fruit very popular in South America and especially in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, which also reached Calabria in the 1800s.
Nowadays, there are around 30,000 cherimoya plants all over the regional territory and the product is a registered municipal designation of origin (De.Co).
Over the centuries, it went from being an imported product to a true expression of alternative agriculture in Italy, grown from Reggio Calabria to Bagnara Calabra, passing by Gioiosa Jonica.
Edulè is a company located in Fiumara (Reggio Calabria) which owns 15 hectares of citrus groves and tropical fruit orchards. The fruits collected from numerous micro-producers part of the consortium are destined to make jams, marmalade, juices and nectares of cherimoya and bergamot orange, cherimoya and golden kiwifruit and cherimoya and mango (available in 200 ml bottles, which can also be purchased online at www.edulestore.it).
"In the beginning, our products also included artisanal cherimoya jams, but now,the most popular products are cherimoya juices. Fruits are peeled by hand, then lemon juice is added to acidify and they are pureed with the addition of a small quantity of sugar. We opted for vacuum pasteurization to avoid thermal stress and preserve natural flavors," explains Giuseppe Bellè, agronomist and sole administrator of Edulè.
"We can make around 50,000 juices a month and we prefer not working with large numbers to maintain the characteristics of a company making artisanal products. Or mixed nectares are delicious, on top of being healthy. Cherimoya, a fruit with an acidic aftertaste, has a creamy texture and the flavor is a combination of pineapple, banana and mango. It can also be used to make ice-cream, sorbet, custards, cheesecakes, shakes and smoothies."
Trees are between 3 and 6 metres tall and have a well-developed trunk with large pointy leaves. They blossom between May and August. Weather permitting, fruits are fully ripe as of late September and maintain their texture and flavor until December. There are many varieties: the most popular in Calabria are Cherimola, with small fruits and a green scaly peel, and Atemoya, a later variety ripe towards December. The creamy flesh, similar to other white exotic fruits, is very suitable for processing.
Edulè 100% bergamot orange juice range
"The objective is to communicate all the potential of cherimoya, as it is a healthy fruit with great organoleptic qualities but is still little known compared to, for example, bergamot oranges," conclude Giuseppe Bellè and his co-founder partner Francesco Anghelone.
"We commercialize our range in many retail chains in Northern Europe which represent 70% of our turnover. Our spice and honey ranges are also much appreciated."