According to some botanists, mandarins, which were once considered an ornamental plant that was not brought to Europe until the 1800s, first in Malta and then in Sicily, are even older than oranges and lemons.
The Sicilian mandarin is the juiciest variety and is certainly the sweetest of all citrus fruits due to its high sugar content.
A symbol of the city of Bronte, in the province of Catania, the Bronte pistachio differs from pistachios grown in other parts of Sicily because of its shape, colour and properties. DOP (PDO – Protected Designation of Origin) certified by the European Union in 2009, it has a high market value, which is why it is also known as “Green gold”.
In addition to its well-known properties, such as its vitamin C content, which is important for keeping seasonal colds at bay, the Sicilian mandarin differs from other citrus fruits in that it has a sedative effect on the nervous system as it contains a large amount of bromine, which is said to help against insomnia. It is also suitable for getting rid of unsightly cellulite and water retention since it purifies the body thanks to its vitamin P content, which promotes diuresis.
Mandarins have numerous organoleptic properties, but these fruits also have symbolic meanings: for instance, “Mandarin” is the name of the elitist language spoken in northern China and it is also the name given to officials and intellectuals who wore tunics of the same colour as the fruit.