SMAF Ltd Chocolate figs

9.5.2022

It is no coincidence you smile when you taste “chocolate figs” of Calabria.

See our selection: 100% Italian (from Calabria) figs, fresh chocolate ready to be delivered abroad!

Another “must have” of our authentic Calabrian made in Italy hand made products!

See our procedure of producing Dried figs filled with chocolate, a must of the Calabrian Christmas gastronomy, a gift of Mediterranean civilization to South of Italy, to Italy and to the world (they are very appreciated in London, for example).

Dried figs filled with chocolate in Calabria are donated to relatives and friends, or however tasted during the Christmas holidays, because they can be kept for months, if stored in tin boxes and covered – once dried – with sheets of baking paper.

The traditional preparation period for this typical Calabrese dessert is September, a period of abundant figs. In this way, a delicious idea was devised to preserve and enjoy them throughout the year, even in the coldest months.

PREPARATION OF DRIED FIGS

The figs are cut in half, leaving them united in the narrowest part, that of the petiole. Hence the name crocette, that is the cross-shaped name they take after the filling and pressing. Figs are dried in the sun on special reeds.

A selection therefore takes place because the figs destined for the preparation must all be of the same size. After the selection the figs are stuffed according to tradition with a preparation of sugar and cinnamon, with the addition of walnuts or almonds and orange and lemon peel. They are then pressed manually so that the two open parts of the fig are perfectly matched.

Once the figs are stuffed they are baked and cooked at 200 °C, then the product is sterilized. Immediately after cooking, they are cooled in special rooms and then packaged.

The dried fig crosses are packaged with three different preparations:

  • the first involves the use of almonds for the filling of figs,
  • the second the use of walnuts and
  • the third instead involves covering the product with dark chocolate.

STUFFED DRIED FIGS, COVERED WITH CHOCOLATE

The chocolate-covered figs are real pleasures of gluttony. Serve as a dessert, they cannot be missing from the Calabrian table where figs are an ancient and traditional food.

Figs can be processed in many different ways.

The figs are first cut in half and then filled with a filling:

  • of hazelnuts,
  • cocoa,
  • aromas including carnation, cinnamon and citrus fruit peel.

Everything is mixed with the cooked wine which gives it a unique and particular taste. Finally they are covered in chocolate and packed in 250g boxes.

VARIOUSLY STUFFED FIGS

In the Calabrian tradition we also find the flavored figs, prepared with the fruit that is opened in half leaving the part of the petiole joined, it is usually stuffed and flavored with:

  • nuts,
  • carnation,
  • cinnamon
  • citrus peel (orange or lemon).

ALMOND FLAVORED FIGS

In the Calabrian tradition we also find the flavored figs, prepared with the fruit that is opened in half leaving the part of the petiole joined, it is usually stuffed and flavored with:

  • almonds,
  • carnation,
  • cinnamon,
  • citrus peel (orange or lemon).

They are dried figs stuffed with almonds cooked in the oven, then skewered in sticks alternating the fruits on the right and left. This combination of dried figs and almonds is excellent in terms of nutrition. In addition to the excellent supply of energy and nutrients, thanks to the omega 3 contained in the almonds, the intake of this food product contributes to reducing the bad LDL cholesterol and also thanks to the fiber content there is a mile control of blood sugar levels.

A small and very fragrant citrus: the Calabrian lime

12.03.2022

Limon Calaber fructu minima rotundo angustioribus et brevioribus foliis”: this is how in 1726 Paolo Bartolomeo Clarici identified the Calabrian round lemon by describing its characteristics.

Lime (Citrus limetta) is a citrus fruit characterized by a very delicate scent and a yellow-green skin, with a sweetish or slightly acidic and not very savory pulp, and is another of the Protected (Traditional) Agri-food Products of Calabria (PAT).

The variety grown in the upper Ionian coast of Cosenza is Citrus limetta umbilicata hispanica or Spanish limo.

Calabrian Limetta

The fruit stands out for being small and round, with an umbo, almost completely surrounded by a deep groove.

Dialectally called piretta, it has been cultivated for centuries in the Piana di Sibari, where it has found an ideal climate for its adaptation.

It is also known by the name of Calabrian limoncello or Calabrian lime, used a lot in the preparation of liqueurs and cocktails.

It has an intense aroma, rich in essential oils, with a fine peel; details that give it excellent organoleptic qualities and that make it one of the products of excellence of its kind. According to some, it is a hybrid between cedar and another citrus fruit that is not better defined.

Limetta cocktails

The origin and history of Citrus limetta or lima dulcis (as Giovanni Battista Ferrari defined it at the end of 1500, in his work “Hesperides”), are very fragmentary and little is known about its past.

It almost certainly spread from India (where different varieties of sweet limes are still grown today, called in Hindi musambi or mosambi, with which sweet and refreshing juices are made) to Asia Minor, Egypt and other countries of the Mediterranean basin, in which it has been present for many centuries.

It forms small trees or large erect, branched and thorny bushes, its flowers are white and fragrant, single or in inflorescence, and are produced from spring to autumn.

Among the sweet citrus fruits it is the least known, but it is sought after by connoisseurs who appreciate both the beauty and the goodness and taste of this fruit. As with most citrus fruits, sweet limes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, and are used to fight the flu and colds.

Fresh Limetta slices fall into water

Their juice is rich in substances that stimulate the digestive system by helping the stomach to regulate gastric juices, and this is why in Calabria, with its rinds, an excellent piretta liqueur is made for the end of a meal.

This juice with a pinch of salt is also useful against constipation and nausea.

It also increases appetite, purifies the blood, is highly thirst-quenching and cools the body.

In India, it is one of the most consumed among citrus juices, and in oriental cuisine it is also used to marinate meat (as it enhances its flavor without contrasting it with the acidity that other citrus fruits have) and to dress salads.Finally, it is used in the food industry for the production of soft drinks, jams and sorbets.

More Calabrian Limetta

This citrus fruit is particularly cultivated to obtain the essential oil from its peel.

The essence, very fragrant and similar to that of lemon but more delicate, is appreciated by the perfume industry to create unusual perfumes, detergents and refined deodorants.

Calabrian limetta citrus: another small but great fruit made in Calabria, to discover and taste!