News / Soller @en

The sun in the zest: Orange harvest in and around Sóller

Proudly the township named itself the “Valley of Oranges” or even “Valley of Gold” and indeed, starting from an orange-liquor, the festival of oranges with cooking contest and degustation menus in all restaurants of reputation up to the export of the fruit by authorized dealers – even if not everything then at least much in town centres on the citrus fruit. End of October the harvest start again, when in orchards, groves and plantations around Sóller and particularly nice on the way to Fornalutx the fruits shine on the evergreen trees. Next to the subtle perfume of the blossoms, base note in many fragrances, the citric trees fascinate by showing fruit and flower the same time.

Literally all senses are tackled while strolling through the plantations. The flavours, the colours and the sounds, too, make up to the charm of this peaceful agricultural landscape. Due to a sophisticated though basically archaic watering system with creeks, irrigation channels and reservoirs, the valley is blessed by water in abundance. Some gentle purling water is heard all the way long. What with all the idyll of the scenery, nevertheless the management and harvesting of the citrus crop means hard work for the farmer, even if nowadays most of the plantations are kept as sideline-business. All the more if farming is based on ecological and sustainable standards without using pesticides, as it is already the case on several farms in the valley.

The crop starts with the Navelina orange, a typical winter-fruit and favoured vitamin provider in the northern countries. In Germany for example, the orange comes together with nuts and chocolates on the St. Nicholas plates on 6th of December. There is but a sort variety among the citrics. The Navel is ripe in January, so is the less common bitter orange, preferable used to prepare marmalade. In continuation the sweet Ortanique, the Valencia, the green and yellow Peret come to harvest. Not to forget the other members of the “family” as there are lemons, mandarins, tangerines and grapefruits.

Purely and freshly eaten, the fruit flavour certainly is at its best. But especially in autumn and winter the fruits offer a wide range of possibilities which are all worth a try. Let’s just think of a delicious Canard a là Orange, Crêpe Suzette or a Punch refined with orange zests. What to the Solleric people is a matter of course, holiday makers, residents and lucky owners of a finca in the very heart of a citric grove take it as a piece of paradise when they open the door to the orchard where drops of dew are still on the leaves, and go to pic some oranges to make themselves a freshly squeezed juice for breakfast.

At least, those who stay at home, can comfortably order the tasty vitamin classics right from the Valley of Gold in middle of the Sierra de Tramuntana to be home-delivered: http://www.fetasoller.com/en/mallorca-shop.php

© Photo: Ajuntament de Fornalutx

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