Two years ago, Fruit Vandepoel became the first overseas company to work with genuine Amalfi lemons with their leaves from Italy. "We work directly with the Amatruda family, who've been growing and trading these lemons in Amalfi for generations. They have their own orchards, but in Amalfi, you can find these lemon trees in many private gardens too," says Guy Claessens of this Belgian company.
The lemons, authentically cultivated on the mountain slopes on the Amalfi coast, are a real showpiece in Fruit Vandepoel's assortment. "The flavor and quality are exceptionally good again this season. These real Amalfi lemons bear the IGP seal, which means they have a protected geographical indication. They're grown naturally and are entirely untreated, making them the ideal ingredient in things like the tastiest limoncello."
These Amalfi lemons' season runs from early March until late September. "Throughout the season, the family selects the finest lemons, with the best quality. These are then sent our way. The second choice is sold in Rome and Milan's local markets," Guy continues. These lemons are thus certainly not mass produced. "Everything is done manually to ensure the best possible quality. For example, the lemons are harvested by hand and then carried down the mountainside on foot in baskets. For lemons, good quality is vital."
Only lemons that have truly been grown in the Amalfi region. may carry the IGP mark. "Unfortunately, there are lots of mass-produced lemons on the market being sold as genuine Amalfi lemons. In most cases, these aren't real Amalfi IGP lemons," Guy explains. "Within Benelux, we're the sole distributors of these lemons. In the off-season, Amatruda supplies good untreated lemons too."
"So we can offer a good product almost year round. These are available at the better high-end stores and hospitality wholesalers. We also import good Cedar and Bergamotte lemons. We're always looking for top quality, and with these lemons, we've found a special product," Guy concludes.