Grossa di Faenza Pomegranate

Ark of taste
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In mid-November, in the hamlet of Torre di Oriolo di Faenza, there is a fair to celebrate this fruit: only a few plants of it remain these days, having been saved by a few custodian farmers, and whose fruit is sold only in local markets.
The “Grossa di Faenza” pomegranate flowers around the end of April, it ripens in mid-October/early November and, because it is late-ripening, harvested at the end of December. Its leaves are average to average-large, from 5-6 to 9cm. The fruit lasts fairly long if not damaged by the especially damp climate, while the closed crown guarantees it keeps better and protects against moulds and pests. Its main feature is its size: it can weigh from 800-850g per fruit, but there are rare examples that have reached and surpassed even 1.5kg. Its juice tends to be acidic, fresh and fairly aromatic, and the grains get sweeter during conservation. The plant does not need to be treated because there are practically no parasitical attacks, except from aphids in spring. It prefers fertile soil but can also survive near farmhouse walls, where in the past it always grew because it was a symbol of fertility.
There is oral testimony that confirms ”Grossa di Faenza” cultivation since before the First World War. One of the typical Faenza pottery designs is in fact the “pomegranate, the Faenza plant whose link to the widespread diffusion cannot be ignored”.

In the past it was probably used instead of lemon in salads and meat-based dishes (see the Artusi recipe “grilled mullet with pomegranate”) or it was used to garnish salads, make juices, and also eaten fresh.

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Emilia Romagna

Production area:Faenza City and sourrondings

Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Mauro Altini