The famous “Falcomatà promenade” of Reggio Calabria is home to many fine Mediterranean and tropical plants even of large dimensions. But the essences of “exotic” is not unique to “the most beautiful kilometre in Italy” but also the inner land of Reggio Calabria and the surrounding municipalities. The Annona (or Anona) for several decades has been a well-known example as remembered by the old ones that always taste “u nonu”.
L’annona seems to have been introduced in Reggio Calabria in the first half of the 800 to become more widespread in the citrus fruit sector and later specialized in the cultivation of different derived from different seeds and varieties introduced from Spain. The De.co (Communal Designation of Origin) given by the council expects in the product specification different varieties of Annona beyond the adjoining rural areas of the council boundaries or in nearby towns suited for the name “Annona of Reggio.”
With the term “Annona di Reggio De.c.o.” we make reference to the varieties of the Annona cherimoya Mill species, in particular the commercial varieties of Spanish origin acclimatized which include the Fino de Jete and Campas (less common) and the so-called “local varieties” or “deformed varieties” which certainly are the most delicious and which are probably derived from seed selected spontaneously or by the farmers in the areas most suited, especially along the coastal strip and foothills.
L’Annona (or “anona” or “nonu” in local dialect) is presented as a tree-like plant high 2mts with a not very developed stem, dense canopy and broad and pointy leaves. The Anona, depending on the variety the flowering phase begins in May and continues through August, in some cases up to October followed by a climb of the phases and the ripen of the fruit between late August and September.
The harvested calendar of the precious fruit begins in late September and ends in mid-December. The best fruits (in terms of weight, sugar content and shape) are those from the first part of the calendar more exactly in July. The fruit of the Spanish variety is bright green even when ripe and is evenly heart-shaped looking like a green heart or conical with thin skin and homogeneous areolas and moderately “squashed”.
The local varieties of fruit quite often with smoother skin, with yellow-green colour, brown spots and veins and irregular shape are often deformed. The Annona average weight is 210gr (but can even go beyond the 900gr). The pulp is soft with cream-white colour and usually has a yield of about 80% of the fruit. The fruit is usually juicy and full of little black seeds (average quantity around 8-10% of the total weight of the fruit and around 20 to 40 seeds).