Londa Regina Peach

Ark of taste
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Although the origin is unknown and specialized exploitation is relatively recent, this is without doubt an ancient variety. The plant was identified in the 1950s on an estate at Rufina, in Valdisieve, by forestry expert Alfredo Leoni, who realized its agronomic and commercial value – there was strong demand for late peaches at the time – and began cultivating it at Londa, a town crossed by the road from Mugello to Casentino, on the western slope of Monte Falterona. Large, round and slightly squashed at the sides, the fruit has a white-light green skin, with many large bright red s pots and markings on the parts most exposed to the sun; the pulp – firm, sweet and highly scented – is creamy white with bright red veins near the stone. This peach ripens in mid-September, so that it is also known as Regina d’autunno e Tardiva di Londa (Autumn Queen and Late of Londa). Since it grows well in areas that are not very humid at night, it is particularly suited to the Tuscan Apennines – dry and airy, totally uncontaminated and ideal for organic agriculture and integrated production. Although it ensures a high yield and is naturally resistant to attack by fungi, difficulties associated with growing have seen many people abandon this variety in recent years: it only takes a cooler summer to put the late harvest at risk. Moreover, Regina is excellent immediately after picking but only retains its taste characteristics for a week after harvest. Today, barely one thousand quintals/year are grown and picked and sales are limited to local markets in Scarperia, Vicchio and Dicomano. Production is concentrated in Londa and other towns in the valley of the Moscia torrent and its tributaries, province of Florence, Tuscany.

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