clementine

While every self respecting man, woman and child in Italy is wearing some shade of purple right now, I really can’t be bothered to keep up with fashion trends. I’m much more interested in the colors at the market, anyway. Now that we are in full fledged winter, Italy’s dominant produce color is orange. Mandarins, clementines, and blood oranges overflow the vendor’s stalls. Most of them are grown in Sicily, where citrus has been cultivated since the ninth century Arab conquest of the island. Around Palermo, qanats (an underground irrigation canal that taps deep water tables) dug more than 1,000 years ago still irrigate the orange plantations. Don’t miss the spremuta di Tarocco (blood orange juice) freshly squeezed at bars all over Italy.