Today I write from the island of Chios, where Citrus “Scent of Memory” is based. Both have a special place in my heart and I love them dearly. You see, my husband is from Chios and it is here where we were married well over twenty years ago. My kids have been spending all their summers in Chios, and we have a nice group of friends that always comes with their own kids for a few days of love and laughter (and food!) every summer, check our annual photo at the bottom of this blog post.
So it was a no-brainer for me to bring Citrus “Scent of Memory” to the US and help it grow. For starters, it is one of the most unique and exclusive products one can find in Greece, and I do love their zealous story. I love the way the people at Citrus respect the traditional orchards, the way they choose their suppliers from the island and support the families here, and the way they promote this very special product.
The Chian citrus fruits, and more specifically the Chian tangerine now protected by the European Union, have been famous around the world since the 1700s, when legend has it the Venetians began cultivating them on the island. The fruit was exported in wooden crates, hand-wrapped one by one in luxurious paper, all of which you can see in the museum housed on the beautiful, tranquil estate that is home to Citrus “Scent of Memory". The museum is a testament to the history of the Kampos area, its days of glory when it was home to the summer estates of the island’s shipowners, and the special architecture of their homes and orchards.
There is a whole art, and a labor-intensive one at that, in the way the orchards are taken care of to ensure that in the heart of winter they will burst in orange color, hanging with vibrant, healthy fruits. There is a special way to hand-pick these rare treasures and then prepare the marmalades and spoon sweets, which have an unmatched flavor and intense, natural aroma. The Citrus “Scent of Memory” batches are very small, with the marmalades cooked in bronze pots so that the heat is evenly distributed to ensure perfection in the taste and texture of the final product. This is how these sweets and marmalades were prepared for centuries, a labor of love and pride for so many people on this island.
I hope you will help me welcome to the US this exceptionally unique and flavorful line of products and support the artisans and farmers behind it.
Fun fact: I spent my wedding night at the Citrus Estate in that same building where the Museum is housed today!
You can read all about Chios and the Citrus story on our Artisans page. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Chios, you simply must visit the Citrus Museum…and have a sweet treat in their patio café!
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