pompia

The Pompìa, remains the strangest fruit I have ever seen 🙂

It is also known as Citrus Monstruosa, precisely to link its (probable) family, the citron, to an aesthetic that does not make it its strong point.

But as is often the case, appearances are deceiving.

And it is indeed from this fruit that some of the most typical products of Sardinia, and Siniscola in particular, are born.

The Pompìa is a rare fruit, cultivated only in the municipalities of Siniscola and its surroundings, exploited both for its beneficial properties and to make sweets, jams... and the famous pompìa liqueur..

Read more: Pompìa, oro di Siniscola: cos’è e dove comprarla

Its rarity is due to the fact that not only does its cultivation, as mentioned above, occur only in certain areas, but farmers in most cases have trees for family consumption, and only a few cultivate real citrus groves. 

Harvesting is manual and takes place from mid-November until January.

HOW AND WHEN DID THE POMPIA ORIGINATE?

The origins of the pompia are not certain, although many scholars and university researches have speculated that it originated from a natural cross between different citrus fruits (probably the citron, lemon and grapefruit) in medieval times.

What is certain is that the pompia is among the rarest citrus fruits in the world and that only a few hundred trees existed until the early 1990s.

 

Its commercial 'rebirth' took place towards the end of the same decade, when it was decided to plant an extensive cultivation of pompìa in Siniscola to implement a social agriculture project.

Then, in 2004, five producers established the Presidio Slow Food in Siniscola.

A programme aimed at protecting this beneficial and rare citrus fruit that is an admirable example of Sardinian biodiversity.

pompia

HOW IT IS USED AND WHAT PRODUCTS ARE MADE FROM IT

The pompìa is used in numerous tasty Sardinian culinary preparations.

It is rightfully one of the typical Sardinian products and must be tasted in all its forms if you visit the island during your holidays.

The most famous recipes based on pompia in Sardinian food and wine are: sa pompia intrea, s’aranzata, la jam and pompia liqueur..

Recently, it has also been used in the production of craft beers by Sardinian breweries and beer firms.

SA POMPIA INTREA

Of all the preparations possible with the Pompìa, this is probably the most typical of Siniscola.

The recipe for pompìa intrea has in fact been handed down orally for centuries and constitutes the cultural baggage of many Siniscola women.
Its processing is very long and intricate. 

First the yellow peel is removed with a small knife, lovingly guarded in order to obtain an exceptional and very aromatic liqueur from it later.

At times it may remind one of Limoncello, but it has unique organoleptic characteristics. 

Then a hole is made in the top, from which the extremely acidic inner pulp interna, estremamente acida. 

Il frutto, spoglio della polpa interna e della buccia, viene bollito nell’acqua e poi lasciato un po’ ad asciugare. 

And here is the sweetest part.

The honey is melted in a copper pan, into which the pompis are then immersed and cooked over a low heat, turning them continuously so that they take on a uniform colour, for about 4-5 hours. 

Our grandmothers used to say 'cando esta in colore de marengu er fatta', that is, when it takes on the colour of marengo (a gold coin from the 1800s), the pompìa is ready.

It should be served preferably on orange or lemon leaves, cut into wedges and served with Sardinian pecorino cheese and red wine: it is an excellent speciality.

pompia-intrea

S’ARANZATA

S'aranzata is a sweet si realizza con l’agrume caramellato e tagliato a striscia di circa 1 cm candite con miele e l’aggiunta di mandorle dolci peeled and roasted almonds.

The recipe for s'aranzata is probably very old and it is virtually impossible to trace its origins with certainty.

But how is s'aranzata prepared?

Viene presa la pompìa, svuotata e tagliata a striscioline, sbollentata e messa a caramellare con abbondante miele.

Mentre il frutto ormai inizia a caramellare si aggiungono le mandorle e quasi alla fine lo zucchero, mescolando pian piano finchè non diventa dorato.

When everything has taken on a nice golden colour , the fire is turned off and everything is spread out on a flat surface and allowed to cool.

Once cooled, it is finally time to cut the various pieces (usually rhomboidal) and then lay them on pompia leaves or in paper cups, ready to be eaten.

Where to buy ready-made and delicious s'aranzata?

I recommend Pasticceria Sos Pipitos in Via Nazario Sauro, 3 di La Caletta (NU) 

POMPIA JAM

Also pompia jamis very good, characterised by a pleasant bitter aftertaste: the ideal solution for a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

And in this article, I want to explain how to make pompia jam and where to find it if you don't want to make it yourself 🙂

Come per la più classica marmellata di arance, la prima operazione importante è togliere la scorza.

A questo punto le pompìe vengono lavate e messe a bagno in un recipiente e coperte d’acqua per una notte.

In the morning, the smell in the kitchen will already be inebriating , but the best is yet to come.

Basterà scolare e poi sbollentare per 3-4 minuti in acqua bollente, poi scolata a lasciata da parte ad asciugare. 

At this point, the other pumpkins are also peeled and everything is cut into pieces, removing the seeds and stringy parts.

Now all the pulp is collected in a pot and put on the stove. It is brought to the boil and the whole thing is left to cook for about 5 minutes.

After this time, the fire is turned off and the sugar (about ⅓ more than the weight of the fruit), lemon juice and boiled strips are added; everything is stirred off the heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Once all the sugar has dissolved, the pot returns to the heat and is brought to the boil; everything should cook on a gentle heat for about 30-35 minutes, stirring from time to time.

The jam will be ready when it has reached the consistency of honey.

If you want to know where to buy Pompìa jam, I recommend the Panificio Pau in Via Gianfranco Conteddu, 71 (Siniscola).

You can buy it locally or online at their official website..

POMPIA LIQUEUR

Lastly, the centrepiece remains. 

In fact, the grapefruit peel is used to make an excellent liqueur (licore de pompìa, which is best served cold and is much appreciated for its digestive powers..

Whenever I travel, I always try to take some with me (homemade liqueur, of course) to let friends who have never been to Sardinia or who have never been to the Siniscola area taste it.

And everyone has always been fascinated by it. 

Just as I hope you, who are reading this guide, will be delighted or pleased. 

Ne varrà sicuramente la pena 🙂

Now you should really know all about pompìa, its origins and its uses and magical products that the Sardinian people have managed to create.

You just have to taste them all.

Leggi anche i miei articoli sui due dei miei preferiti dolci tipici and come realizzarli in casa: i Papassini sardi o “sos papassinos” tipici del mese di novembre e della festa di Ognissanti, e le Origliette sarde, dolce tipico carnevalesco. Ovviamente non possono che sposarsi alla perfezione con un bicchierino di liquore di Pompia 😉

A treat for you who are a special traveller?

The Moletto Ostricheria Grill (which I told you about in the article EATING WELL AT LA CALETTA, AND NOT ONLY: THE RESTAURANTS I RECOMMEND!), besides being a highly recommended restaurant and a place where you can enjoy a truly suggestive aperitif, you can try a unique cocktail based on Pompìa liqueur, which for obvious reasons you cannot try anywhere else: Thiniscolae.

You'll thank me later 🙂

For today, I bid you a farewell with a feast of Pompìa in all its myriad uses.

See you soon

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Comments (07)

    1. Ciao Andrea, il mio consiglio è di rivolgersi all’Azienda Agricola Tholoi. Ci sono diversi siti che vendono il liquore di Pompia Tholoi, ma magari per grandi quantità ci si può rivolgere direttamente all’Azienda. Inserisco a seguire il link alla loro pagina Google in cui è riportato il numero di telefono che potrà certamente essere contattato: https://goo.gl/maps/p5bHgnBs2biRRacC9

  1. I really appreciated Sardinia and all that it offers, typical products and full of flavors. It is especially full of kindness and goodness. I recommend 100%.

    1. Thank you Elody, your comment represents very well what Sardinia wants to communicate.

  2. Ma il frutto della pompia è acquistabile in Sardegna o sono acquistabili solo le piante da alcuni vivai e i prodotti ricavati dalla lavorazione della pompia presso i negozi di Siniscola?

    1. Ciao Pierpaolo, attualmente non è possibile acquistare solo la scorza. E’ possibile però acquistare il frutto e ricavarla in autonomia, utilizzando il frutto per creare marmellata, pompia intrea, e molto altro. Presto usciranno video a riguardo sul canale youtube.

      Qualora dovesse interessarti il frutto, potresti indicarmi una quantità e se eventualmente deve essere consegnato a mano o spedito? Eventualmente posso consigliarti degli agricoltori locali.

      Grazie per l’interesse,
      Rita

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