Have you ever tried a pear called “Pera rugginosa” (rosty pear) or a nice juice of “Sanguigna Ottobrina” (octobery sanguine) peach?
Probably not …. and that’s a pity! You won’t find the taste of this ancient fruits in any supermarket and it hardly can be described.
Well, these fruits are not shiny and perfectly shaped but they are charged with the sun’s energy, the nutrients of the intact soil and an original taste.
In the garden “Orto dei Semplici” on the island of Elba the professors Fabiano Camangi and Agostino Stefani have rediscovered about 30 varieties of ancient fruits: figs, apples, apricots, plums and many others. A true heritage that promptly has been adopted by 21 Eco – Hotel on the island.
In the gardens and grounds of these hotels, each plant is cataloged and described in its detail: one can find typical aromatic herbs such as the lesser calamint or marjoram, next to rarities like the Zanca-Patresi onion or the elba black kale. Olives, vines and elderberries, citrus fruits such as lemons and mandarins, trees full of cherries, figs and peaches and medlars. And here, in these sunny fields, it is very likely to find a heart-shaped plum or apricot barely larger than an almond, waiting to be recognized and inserted into the catalog.
Needless to say that the resulting products, whether sweet or salty, are equipped with an entirely new taste for our palates, which are used to consume fruits and vegetables allover the year regardless to seasons. In this way, even a simple vegetable soup has the potential to become an exquisite gourmet dish.
The Garden „Orto dei Semplici Elbani” and various partners - Archipelago Toscano National Park, the School Sant’Anna di Pisa, the Association of Hoteliers and environmentalists, as well as the province, the region and the municipality of Rio nell’Elba – made this project possible and can provide you with all information, publications and detailed about each kind of fruit. During a walk around the Hermitage of Santa Caterina you can discover all herbs, and get in touch with the hotels. And in case you can make a reservation of your favorite fruit.