Citron — or Cedro Ordinario — is on a pedestal. It deserves to be. It’s a magnificent fruit deserving of a Jewish delegation that comes from Israel every year between July and August to choose the best fruit to be used in the most important holiday — Succoth. There is an actual mashgaich who observes the trunk of the tree to be sure it hasn’t been grafted and that it’s kosher. Once decided, it’s picked, further analyzed and put into a silver box and shipped to Tel Aviv.
These have obviously been grafted and would not make the cut. I became fond of them in Sicily at Regaleali, Anna Tasca Lanza’s family wine estate, one-and-half hours south of Palermo. The pulp is appreciated and has very little juice. I fell in love with it in a salad, thinly sliced with fennel and dressed with just pressed olive oil and salt. It’s often candied, but I prefer it fresh.
PEGGY MARKEL’S Culinary Adventures in Tuscany, Sicily and Morocco bring friends to the table in pursuit of pleasure, culture and community, and an authentic experience of the materia prima that make for a truly good life: peggymarkel.com.