Il Cedro: The Original Citrus Fruit

October 26, 2015 / Food & Wine

In the south of Italy on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, lies the Riviera del Cedri, where the cedro (English name: citron) has been cultivated since Third Century BC due to its warm temperatures even in the winter months.  The citron is one of the four original citrus fruits and although it looks very similar to a lemon, it’s actually quite different.

Citron Trees Calabria

The citron tree, blooms throughout the year but it is harvested in mid-October to early December. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this fruit is rarely eaten freshly plucked from the tree.  It’s usually used to create candied fruits, traditional desserts, marmalades, flavoured carbon drinks or digestive liquors.  Due to its magnificent fragrance, its essence is commonly used in shower gels, body lotions and household fresheners.

cedri market

During the whole month of October, the town of Santa Maria del Cedro celebrates the harvest with a big festival including music, gastronomical delights and culture exhibitions.

(Image Credits: many thanks to BlackDot, Alessandro)

Cherrye Moore

by Cherrye Moore

Cherrye Moore is owner of My Bella Vita Travel, a boutique tour operator specializing in custom vacations and heritage tours in southern Italy. Join her in June or September for the Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria – a unique small group tour that combines group travel with a private heritage tour, or in September for the Undiscovered Southern Calabria and Eastern Sicily Tour.


6 Responses to “Il Cedro: The Original Citrus Fruit”

  1. Marie Giacalone

    Yes! I planted a citron tree because it is so hard to find good candied citron here in California- so I am making my own. Thanks for this post :^).

  2. Cherrye Moore

    Prego, Marie! A few months ago someone mentioned wanting to know more about cedri after reading one of my other notes. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Yes, Anne, I agree – they DO! :-)

  3. Ginny Siggia

    I’ve heard of citrone but never in any detail. Thanks! I used to regard Meyer lemons as the gold standard (they really do taste better!), but it sounds like it has competition.


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