Back in 2009 we brought the first green Bergamot to London, recognising the culinary potential of their volatile essential oils previously only used in the perfume industry.
Bergamots represented a new way to use citrus. On sourcing trips, we looked again at green-skinned Mandarins and Navel Oranges, technically unripe but full of potential. Citrus juice and zest are at their most potent at this stage, mellowing as developing sugars balance out their fragrant acidity.
Uniquely, we now harvest certain citrus varieties earlier in the season, while their skins are still green. We work direct with Carmelo in Sicily, a region known for its unique winter climate - mild days and cold nights - the ideal growing conditions for citrus. Carmelo selects the most promising fruit and picks them up to eight weeks before they would normally appear on the market.
Our radically seasonal sourcing is providing inspiration for some of the most prominent kitchens in London. Chefs like Andrew Clarke at St Leonard’s and James Lowe at Lyle’s now await Green Citrus season in the same way they do the first Winter Tomatoes from Sardinia and traditional sand-forced Radicchio from Veneto.
Picked at roughly half the size of a fully grown mandarin. Not for eating raw, their acidic juice and fragrant zest is at its most potent at this stage of the season.
Green Navel Orange
Both a culinary and eating citrus, its sugars have developed just enough to balance its fresh acidity.
Green Pink Navel Orange
Unwaxed, thick green peel contrasts with vivid pink bittersweet flesh.