The crunchy ‘Zitella’ Apple of the hills of Avellino and Benevento
In the hill and mountain areas of Avellino and Benevento, we still find, in the mixed orchards of familiar kind, very vigorous trees of the ‘Zitella’ (spinster) apple, a cultivar once largely spread, along with other traditional varieties. Its fruit is little, with a flattened and asymmetric shape and has a medium thin skin characterized by a pale yellow color with red shades on part of the surface. Its white flesh, compact and crunchy, is very juicy and has a sweet and aromatic taste.
The zitella apple grows up in dry and sunny environments, on cool and fertile lands, where the tree, in these conditions, is very productive. The fruit has medium-big dimensions, with a slightly flattened and asymmetric shape, a quite thin skin, of ochre yellow color with pinkish shades or striated with brown in the most exposed part to the sun. The flesh is white, hard, crunchy, little juicy, with a pleasant intense perfume and a sweet and slightly sour taste.
The harvest of the apples is made manually starting from the first decade of October and, given its good conservability, it can be stored in the fridge or fruit cellars for the entire winter.
It is eaten fresh, cooked or even as ingredient in dishes and products of the territory and to make cakes.