Small leaf Chinotto
Citrus myrtifolia Raf.
Sour oranges and their hybrids
December – May
Species native to southern China. Its most popular common name, Chinotto, was coined in Italy in reference to its place of origin, while its scientific name refers to the resemblance of its leaves to those of the common myrtle.
TREE AND FRUIT DESCRIPTION:
Not very vigorous shrub, with slow growth and very dense foliage due to the short distance between nodes. Leaves are especially small in this variety, typically lanceolate and dark green. Small fruits, round and flattened at the poles. Rind with very apparent essential oil glands and intense orange color when ripe. Juicy pulp, sour-bitter taste. Variable content of seeds.
In Italy it is used to make the drink called Chinotto, as a flavoring of amari and in carbonated soft drinks. In Liguria (Italy) it is candied whole, being a very appreciated dessert. In France it is candied with apricots or cherries. It is also used to make jams. Its juice gives a special bitter touch to sauces.