Sant’Arcangelo Percoca

Ark of taste
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The name ‘percoco di Sant’Arcangelo’ actually indicates two local varieties with compact yellow pulp fruit, with a sweet taste and an average size of about 180 g. The colour of the skin is, however, orangey yellow. These are most probably two ecotypes of Prunus persica, which differ in the size of the lace, i.e. the very pointed end of the base. The first, known as sanguinella, ripens between the third ten days of July and mid-August; the second, known as col pizzo, arrives on the mainly local market between 20 August and mid-September.
The Sant’Arcangelo percorco grows in the alluvial plain of the Agri river, specifically in the orchards (gardens) of Sant’Arcangelo, which cover an area of around 500 hectares. Two historical crops are still grown in this area, including the percoco and Ra Salicara tomatoes, which are the distinctive and characterising feature of the landscape of this alluvial land area.
The Sant’Arcangelo orchards are currently candidates for inclusion in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s national register of Historic Rural Landscapes, at the proposal of the University of Basilicata, precisely because of their historical, cultural and identity value for the area.
Unfortunately, only about fifty trees remain of this crop. Production, already very limited, is at greater risk due to changes in the market and the abandonment of the countryside by new generations.
The percoca is eaten fresh, au naturel, or cut into pieces in wine. But it is also particularly appreciated for the production of jams.

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Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Rossella Oppido