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Sfusato Lemons


Sfusato Lemons in Positano, Italy. 2005

Sfusato Lemons in Positano, Italy. 2005
© Leclaire & Schenk


Sfusato Lemons are a variety of lemon grown in Italy on the Amalfi Coast. [1]

These lemons are very large, and have a nipple (usually more politely called a "point") at the end.

The rind is a pale yellow. Inside, they are very tart and juicy with very few seeds. Overall, they have a pronounced lemon smell, and a good shelf life.

The tree will grow true to seed 70% of the time. Cuttings are being nurtured in California in the hopes of building up a fledgling production there.

The trees in Italy are grown on terraces under bowers with thin nets on them to keep off frost and hail, and to provide shade (straw mats used to be used for this purpose.) Organic fertilizer (e.g. manure) is used.

Sfusato Lemons

Sfusato Lemons
© Leclaire & Schenk

The lemons are harvested February to September inclusive. Prime harvest months within that period vary depending on which source you are consulting.

The lemons are classed based on what time during the harvest season they are harvested: mezzani, limoni bianchetti, verdelli, agostani, and bastardi.

There are actually several sub-varieties: Sfusato di Amalfi, Gloria di Amalfi, Lemon of Maiori, Lemon of Rocida, and Oval of Sorrento,

60% of the Sfusato Lemon harvest is used locally to make Limoncello.
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[1] This starts on the south side of the Sorrentine Peninsula, which itself is about 45 minutes south of Naples.


Equivalents

300 of the lemons weigh 110 pounds (50 kg.)


History Notes

The Romans grew lemons in the Amalfi Coast area. Some archaeologists think that this particular lemon, with its particular shape, is represented in frescoes (particularly in the House of the Orchard) at Pompeii, which would date the origin of the line back to Roman times.


The large lemon groves started sometime in the 11th century. From 1500 to 1800, the major buyers were navies and ship owners in northern European countries to combat against scurvy.

Sfusato Lemons in Positano, Italy. 2005

Sfusato Lemons in Positano, Italy. 2005
© Sue Schenk

A cooperative was formed in 1992, spearheaded by Luigi Aceto, called the "Consorzio Valorizzazione Limone Costa d'Amalfi (COVAL)."

Most cooperative members are members of the Aceto family.

The Aceto family involvement started in 1825 with Salvatore Aceto in Ravello. Their export business had to be rebuilt after World War II.

Most competition comes from other lemon growers in Italy, in Sicily and Calabria.

As the family came to realize that they couldn't compete selling their crops as generic lemons, they decided to brand them and apply for the European PGI.

Sfusato Lemons received their European PGI designation under the name of "Limone Costa d'Amalfi" on 4 July 2001.

Language Notes

"Sfusato" is a short-form of the Italian word for "pointed" or "tapered", "affusolato." The name refers to the pointed end of the lemon. Called "limon amalphitanus" in the Middle Ages.

See also:

Lemons

Eureka Lemon; Lemon Butter; Lemon Extract; Lemon Juice; Lemon Oil; Lemon Twists; Lemon Zest; Lemons; Lisbon Lemon; Meyer Lemon; Sfusato Lemons

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Also called:

Sfusato Amalfitano; (Italian)

Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Sfusato Lemons." CooksInfo.com. Published 30 March 2006; revised 24 May 2009. Web. Accessed 12/18/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/sfusato-lemons>.

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