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Why we chose Citrus

Logo Citrus Chios

CITRUS Άρωμα Mνήμης® (Scent of Memory) was founded in 2008 by a passionate group of people from the Greek island of Chios, where mandarins and other citrus fruit have been indelibly woven in to the island’s history for centuries. Legend has it that the Venetians brought the fruit in the 14th century, but the citrus trade really took off in the 1700s. That was when the island’s prominent merchant captains set up citrus orchards in their summer homes to ensure their estates could be financially self-sufficient. The Kambos area where they lived had an ideal micro-climate for the fruit, which was hand-picked and wrapped in individual wrappers and seen as a prized luxury product in demand throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

The jewel of Chios’ citrus orchards is the Chian Mandarin, fruit of the “citrus deliciose tenore”, which has a bolder aroma and much more intense flavor than the common clementine mandarin that most of us are familiar with. This delectable Chian Mandarin was recognized by the European Commission and granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and the entire Kambos valley is listed as a historical site by the Greek Ministry of Culture, thanks to its rich architectural and cultural heritage.

The Chian mandarins and other citrus varieties are a source of pride for the island’s farmers, who continue to cultivate these fruits with a deep respect for their natural environment and cultural roots. Groves are often still watered from the traditional “magganos” wells, treadmill-operated wells once powered by animals but adapted to today’s modern irrigation methods. You can visit the original charming estates, a tranquil oasis of sweet-smelling orchards in the Kambos region. 

The Citrus company has a deep commitment to these traditions and still hand make in small batches these delectable products. The team strives to bring Chios’ rich history into a more contemporary, dynamic present, with new flavors and products building off of a traditional core of mandarin jams and sweets. The company’s products have won a variety of Great Taste Awards from the UK’s Guild of Fine Foods, and it’s easy to see why. 

We love their zesty flavor morning, noon and night: in Italian crostata, on French croissants, mixed in with our morning oatmeal, as a touch of Chios on our good old PB&J, as a tangy accompaniment to aged cheese and a fine wine.  We’ve even tried the Chian Tangerine Marmalade in baked beans and other tomato sauces because it blends so well! 

Zelos is proud to help the Citrus team spread their zeal beyond the island of Chios, bringing their bold flavors to your own pantry.  Read more about the Citrus team on our Zealous Stories blog!

Citrus is ISO 22000 certified as meeting international food safety management standards.

At Citrus we're a close team, working together to bring the traditions of the past to today's world.

— Irene Sassou, Citrus Sales Department


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