Memories from counties I’ve visited are like kaleidoscopic pictures made from vivid colors, music and noises from far away and-smells and flavors so different from what I know that I remember them forever.One such memory takes me back in eighties,when still living in socialist country but being lucky enough to travel abroad.Returning from our trips to Italy we would always stop in little shops just in front of border,spending last lira to buy some specialities to bring home.Among them was Chinotto,a drink so different from our lives at that time that it remained in my memories as a reminiscence of summers when everything seemed so far away..From those times many things have changed, but the taste of this drink remained the same-sweet and bitter, a bit sour like nothing we’ve tasted before.
Visiting Florence this march I remember by spring colors of Tuscan gardens, smooth flow of Arno river and wonderful smell of orange flowers in Botanical garden –Giardino dei semplici.They have a vast collection of citrus plants. I’ve never imagined lemons in shape of Buddha’s hand or in shape of a pear,that Jews have their own Citron, as also Florence does ,but most intriguing of them all is Bizzaria , botanists needed three centuries to solve this chimera puzzle from Florence .And me? I’ve solved my chinotto puzzle in Florence:- among citrus trees!Citrus myrtifolia, the myrtle-leaved orange tree gives fruit which is used not only to flavor chinotto,but also many Italian amari !
|Myrtle-leaved orange tree|
|Chinotto oranges growing on a tree|