Restaurant Da Filippo
Via Cesarano 5
Sorrento.
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TRADITIONAL RECIPES TYPICAL PRODUCTS LIST OF RESTAURANTS
* min 4 char

Fico bianco del Cilento (White Cilento Fico)


Fig growing in the Cilento area dates back to ancient times. It is claimed that this plant came from southern Arabia and quickly became a fundamental component of Mediterranean culture. It is said to have been introduced to the area before the sixth century BC, as a result of the first commercial trips made by civilizations from the Near East. The custom of drying figs with techniques described by Homer, Theophrastus and others is just as old. From base food for labourers working in the fields, as described by Cato and Varro in Roman times, the dried Cilento figs, browned in the oven and stuffed with walnuts and almonds, gave way to a flourishing business around the middle of the fifteenth century.

White Cilento Fico - Typical products - Sorrento Italy


It had commercial outlets in the main Italian markets, from Genoa to the Aeolian Islands, and is documented by various sources, among them the customs register for the Cilento navy (1486). Later on, between 1700 and 1800, fig-growing in the Cilento area recorded a gradual spread of entrepreneurs, an unknown phenomenon in the agricultural world in this area and, at the beginning of the following century we can find some publications that quote the first local farms dealing with processing and shipment of substantial quantities of produce abroad.
During the centuries the Bianco del Cilento (White Cilento) ecotype was developed and selected in the Cilento area. It derives from the mother cultivar Dottato that stands out for its quality, flavour and high nutritional value and has all the necessary qualities for being dried. It is also much appreciated abroad. The fruit has an even light-yellow skin that turns almost brown after cooking; the flesh is amber-yellow, of a pasty consistency, with mainly empty achenes and an almost completely fullreceptacle. Maximum 27% humidity is allowed. The best produce is in August and September, the so-called "early" figs ripen between June and July and the late ones in autumn.
The DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin) area, for which the application for recognition by the European Union is under way, stretches from the coastal hills of Agropoli to Bussento, to the southern limits of Campania, and includes, completely or partially, 68 communes in the province of Salerno. This is ideal fig-growing territory thanks to the fertility of the soil and the pedo-climatic conditions. It is rendered even more suitable by the mitigating action of the sea and the presence of the Apennines that act as a barrier to the cold winter currents arriving from the northeast.
Even the drying and processing phases of the produce are carried out entirely within the geographical production area, on farm premises, in a harmonious interaction process between product, man and environment, and is still a substantial economic and occupational resource. The Cilento area, in fact, produces more figs than any other area in Campania, which is the leading fig-producing region in Italy, with about 18 tonnes of fresh produce, from over 5,000 hectares, equal to about 2,000 tonnes of dried figs per year. 70% of the produce is processed in semi-industrial plants and 30% by small companies. The dried figs are also sold filled with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, wild fennel seeds, citrus peel (ingredients must come from the same production area) or covered with chocolate, thus offering a wider range of products. The Cilento fig is endowed with extraordinary medicinal and therapeutic properties and is used in various herbal and dietetic preparations.


 

 
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