France’s only home-grown clementine from Corsica available on shelves from mid-November!29-11-2016
Clementines from Corsica, a beautiful fruit
Instantly recognisable for its delicate, shiny skin, its long dark leaves are also a characteristic feature. Still attached, they not only indicate the fruit’s freshness, but also lend a definite air of elegance to these stunning Corsican clementines. The fruit gains its distinctive orange colour from the low temperatures which break down chlorophyll into red or yellow pigment. The fruit’s green-tinged peel is testament too to the mild autumns, though the flesh inside is perfectly succulent and sweet to taste, and completely free of pips.
The Corsican clementine, an exceptional culture
Cultivated essentially on Corsica’s east cost, Corsican clementines are the only clementines grown in France.
Two labels guaranteeing quality and origin recognise its many characteristics:
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), a quality label providing a guarantee of provenance and also recognises the quality and expertise specifically derived from the region where the fruit is grown. Granted in 2007, Corsican clementine producers must follow a strict set of guidelines comprising some 70 criteria in accordance with the principals of sustainable agriculture.
Label rouge, awarded in 2014, could account for as much as 20% of production in forthcoming years. Only the «fine de Corse» variety can benefit from this label which identifies products of exceptional taste and quality.
Interview and profile of producer Vincent MARCADAL
Born in Bastia, this young, 34-year old producer joined the family farm in Aleria in the Oriental Plain of Corsica in 2012, to work alongside his father and brother.
Why Corsican clementines?
My father was already growing Corsican clementines back in 1976 when I was a boy. My parents always encouraged my brother and I to take over the farm. After studying agriculture I was employed as a fruit wholesaler dealing in fruit and vegetables in Cavaillon, and specialising in Clementines. After taking a Masters in entrepreneurship and with two IT consulting companies to my name, returning to the orchards of my childhood seemed only natural. For me, Corsican clementines are not only a delicious, easy-to-peel fruit, but also a family legacy we are cultivating, combining my father’s experience with my brother and I working together and dedicated to our land.
What is your specific role in the management of the farm alongside your father and brother ?
I am very hands-on in the fields during the harvest, but also focus on applying my business experience to the farm. I oversee the family packing station, all HR and finance relating to the farm, as well as long term development strategy. Corsican clementines are a strong brand and relatively underexploited to date.
Why is the Corsican terroir particularly beneficial to growing Corsican clementines?
It’s the highly specific « terroir » between land and sea that makes growing clementines possible here in Corsica. The cool mountain nights lend the fruit its distinctive colour and « green base », while the maritime climate prevents frost and allows the fruit to ripen naturally on the trees.
The ultimate clementine moment:
For dessert after every meal during the festive season. For me, Corsican clementines are pure, edible energy. As to the ultimate Corsican clementine recipe, I love Corsican clementines on their own, or transformed into delicious marmalade. I am also a regular at a local restaurant that serves a mouthwatering sea bass in a Corsican clementine marmalade and hazelnut salt pastry shell.
135 producers of Corsican clementines
1 330 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of clementines from Corsica
550 000 clementines producers
20 000 – 25 000 tonnes of clementines produced annually
90 % of the production under PGI
For further information visit the official website Clémentine de Corse.
Photos credits : A.Lescombes APRODEC