Diamante Citron

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The Diamante citron was one of the most important varieties candied by the largest
factories at Leghorn Italy; it was gathered from Liguria, Naples, Calabria & Sicily and
then shipped into England and the United States.

Cedro Ordinario as illustrated by Volckamer.

Genoa was known to supply etrog for the Jews since the times of the Tosafists, along
with Sanremo, Bordighera, and the rest of Liguria. The city is located in the province
of Liguria which have an old history of citron cultivation, thanks to the massive
mountain chain which protects it from turbulant winds. Genoa has also a known
history of banking, and they may have also traded the citron grown in the rest of the
country, being a well established Seaport as well.

Although little is known about the Genuese variety they used to grow, Volkamer
indicated that it was very similar (besides the taste in which the Genuese was reported
to be not as good) to the one illustrated by him as well as by Ferrari as the Cedro
Ordinario. Therefore, it is considered to be of oldest Ashkenazic tradition for the
Jewish ritual during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Most adherent to the Diamante variety of Calabria are still the Chabad's who's late
Rabbi's were always in support for this traditional variety. Among the other Hasidic
sects it is most used by the Satmars.

A Citron Tree in Calabria supported with sticks.

 Kashrus Supervision

The citron in Calabria was celebrated by poets like Byron and D'Annunzio, but is only
saved from extinction, thanks to the Jewish tradition.

While Calabria is at the southern point of Italy, and its climate most Mediterranean, it
is the most suitable for the citron. Even though, during the winter it is still too cold for
the citron, and this is why the farmers need to protect them with blue or green plastic
covers. Most of the citron trees in the area are grafted onto foreign rootstock, to save
them from freeze and all different kinds of illness. While this practice renders their
fruits to non-kosher for the ritual, no citron is to be picked off unless the tree is
carefully inspected by a mashgiach.

A double graft union, one at the stem and one at the branch.

A Jewish delegation comes from Israel to Santa Maria del Cedro every year between
July and August to choose the best fruit to be used in the most important holiday for
the Jewish community. The selection of the best fruit is a virtual ritual. The
mashgichim, each followed by a peasant carrying a box and a pair of scissors, go to
the citron farms at five in the morning. The mashgiach proceeds slowly looking left
and right. Then he stops and looks at the base of the tree, right where the trunk comes
up from the ground. A smooth trunk means the tree has not been grafted and the fruit
can be picked. The mashgiach lies down on the ground to examine better the lower
branches between the leaves.

 Citron varieties

Acidic-pulp varieties:

Diamante citron

Greek citron

Balady citron

Florentine citron

Non-acidic varieties:

Moroccan citron

Corsican citron

Pulpless varieties:

Buddha's hand

Yemenite citron

Related Articles:

Citrus Succade Hybrid Grafting Chimera Etrog Sukkoth Four Species

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Once the good fruit is found, the mashgiach shows it to the peasant who cuts it off
leaving a piece of the stalk. Then the mashgiach analyses the picked citron one more
time and if he decides it is worthy he wraps it in oakum and puts it in the box. The
farmer receives the agreed sum for each picked fruit. Then the boxes are sealed and
sent to the Lamezia Terme airport with a final destination Tel Aviv.
Although Diamante is also growing in Puerto Rico, Sicily and Sardinia, their etrogs
are not used for the Jewish ritual, since no kashrut certification was present at
tranplantation. Seeds and cuttings of inspected trees were planted in the Israeli village
of Kfar Chabad, with the hechsher certification by major kashrut organizations.

Each Tree is inspected for Grafting signs.

The methods for tree checking to verify if the tree is grafted or not, were established
by a board of rabbis in Israel by year 1877 as described in Kuntres Pri Etz Hadar
which was published in Jerusalem a year after.

 Other Citron Varieties

Different Citron varieties used as Etrog, are the Greek Citron, the Balady Citron,
Moroccan Citron and Yemenite Citron.

Citron varieties, or hybrids not used for the ritual, are the Fingered Citron and
Florentine Citron.



^ The Cultivated Oranges and Lemons

The Pharmaceutical Journal-Consular report

The Gardeners Chronical

Biennial Report

Report Google Books

Parliamantery Papers

The Dublin REview

Monthly Consular

Bulletin Victoria


^ The citrus Industry citation by Google Books
The Citrus Industry online in name of Georges Gallesio

Trait du citrus By Giorgio Gallesio in French p. 256


^ Orange Insects

Biennial Reports (Consular report


Treatise and Hand-book of Orange Culture in Florida, Louisiana and California

^ an Easter Holiday in Liguria

^ Cedro ordinario illustration of Nrbergisches Hesperides oder grndliche

^ Malum Citreum Volgura from Hesperides sive de malorum aureorum.

^ Oekonomische Encyklopdie

Trait du citrus By Giorgio Gallesio

Manuale di arboricoltura by Giuseppe Antonio

Enciclopedia di scienze politiche

The Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist

Descrizione di Genova e del Genovesato

Lettere sopra i buccheri

Dell'idioma e della letteratura genovese

^ A world known statement by rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn

^ Discovery Jewish Italy academy article


Isaac, Erich. (1959). Influence of religion on the spread of citrus: The religious
practices of the Jews helped effect the introduction of citrus to Mediterranean lands.
Science, 129: 179-186.

Article by Rabbi Tzinner about Yanove Etrog

 See also

History of the Jews in Calabria

 External links

HaLevanon 11 - no 7, HaLevanon 12 - no 4, page 2 gives a detailed list of cultivation
areas and shipping system of ritual citron in Italy.

The wanderings of plants and animals from their first home; By Victor Hehn, James
Steven Stallybrass, digitized by Google Books

ChabadPedia about Calabria citron

Universo Cedro an Italian university about citron providing information and good

The Diamante Variety described by The Purdue University

The Citrus Variety Collection by the University of California

Citrus Pages with pictures

The tree inspection by rabbis, including Pictures.

Chabad Website.

The Official Website of Flohr's Esrogim

The Mesoreh about the Calabrian Etrog

Center for the Study of Jewry in Calabria and Sicily

Academy Article describing the Etrog crop in Calabria
Essential Oils

A study on glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase isozymes of citron cultivars

A DNA Comparison study

Postcard from Calabria

Zitrus Freunde

Compare the biggest to the smallest Etrog in Crown Heights


 Categories: Citron
 Jewish Italian history
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