Buco Incavato Peach

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This fruit, which in the local dialect is called bus incavé, is a white peach that was produced at the end of the nineteenth century in Massa Lobarda, in the Romagna region. The elliptical fruit weighs about 200 grams, has intense red hues, and characteristically has a very deep, hollowed suture, whence its name. The fuzz on the peel is extremely fine, almost velvety, while the pulp is a pale green color with a smooth texture, balanced taste between sugars and acids, and intense aromas that are simply not present in the varieties typically for sale today.     The fruit is harvested in mid-August (in the Romanga region) and is eaten fresh, though jams are also made from these peaches and have a characteristic pink color. In the past the Buco Incavato peach was propagated by individual seeds, and there are several similar genotypes between Massa Lombarda, Ravenna and the area around Ferrara, with some differences in the fruits’ coloring and the time it takes to mature. This is perhaps one of the extremely rare variety populations of peaches that still exist in Italy.   Today there are six or seven types that are known of and surveyed, some of which have been conserved over time in research institutions’ variety collections. Nearly all of the exemplars are unique and at risk of extinction, though it was the most cultivated peach in the provinces of Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, Ferrara, and Bologna up until about 1930 when it was substituted by international varieties, mainly those from America. Today the few existent exemplars are conserved by local farmers. The total annual production between the provinces of Ravenna and Ferrara is about 8000 kg and is typically sold from between the first week of August through the beginning of September. This product is closely tied to the territory around Massa Lombarda, but also to the rest of the province of Ravenna and the area around Ferrara, where it has been cultivated since the 1920s. This peach risks disappearing because it has slowly been replaced by other varieties that are more popular on the market.

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Emilia Romagna