We are in the land of citrus and almond trees, olive trees and prickly pears, but in Leonforte peaches are grown.
Right here, in this town perched on a hill just north of Enna, every year, in June, is renewed a little madness: the farmers, armed with bags of parchment paper, close by hand, one by one on the tree, the peaches still green while doing the thinning. A painstaking work for men only, that does not allow mistakes (in one day the fastest ones bag more than 2000).
The peaches in the bag ripen from August to October, sometimes even in November. Enclosed in their little packages, they are protected from parasites and from the wind and can remain on the tree until the last moment to be picked only when they are perfectly ripe.
Cultivation is laborious and delicate: from bagging to harvesting, when fruits are detached with a slight rotation of the stalk (woe to tear them).
Fruits are not very showy; ripening late and in the bag, they become at the most intense yellow with light red streaks, but they are always very scented, with a yellow pulp, firm, sweet and a particular taste, vaguely recalling candy.
While in the rest of Italy the old peaches were already supplanted at the beginning of the twentieth century by the massive introduction of new American varieties and, by now, every year has its “fashion peaches” – ever larger, yellow and beautiful, but increasingly tasteless – in Leonforte many ancient local varieties survive. And if the oranges – even those prized and once appreciated in the world, such as the Bionda and the Belladonna – remain on the trees because they are no longer worth anything on the market, the peach orchards are the country’s new hope.
These absolutely healthy peaches (the bag allows to avoid any treatment with pesticides on the plants), good and little known outside the Sicilian borders, could become an important resource for the rebirth of a town that, four or five centuries ago, was one of the most dynamic centers of Sicily: for this reason the Presidium was born.
Isabella Barbera, Leonforte (En), Via Boccaccio 34, Tel. +39 339 4236628, email@example.com
Giuseppe Cipolla, Leonforte (En), Contrada Rossi, Tel.+39 0935 903751 / +39 340 3863368, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilio Ferragosto, Enna – Contrada Girgia, Tel. +39 0935 901407
Francesco Ferragosto, Enna – Contrada Girgia, Tel. +39 335 8123094, email@example.com
Samperi, di Giovanni Trovati, Leonforte (En), Contrada Samperi, Tel. +39 0935 1976007 / +39 338 9110383, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Referente dei produttori del Presidio
Maurizio Stanzù, Leonforte (En), Via Antonio Buttafuoco, Tel. +39 333 9105506
Rosa Valenti, Leonforte (En), Via Monreale 26, Tel. +39 320 1133320, email@example.com
Antonino La Porta, Leonforte (En), Contrada Piano dei Cenzi, Tel. +39 340 9362714
Il mio orto, di Salvatore Rossino, Leonforte (En), Corso Umberto 459, Tel. +39 328 9258370
Passo del Catalano, di Salvatore La Delfa, Leonforte (En), Strada provinciale 7 A, Km. 3, Tel. +39 0935 902905 / +39 339 6141065 /+39 328 1512135, firstname.lastname@example.org