China likes Calabrian Hot Chili Pepper


Lin Bin, Minister for Economic Development and Commerce, during the visit of a delegation of the People’s Republic of China, met many commercial operators in Calabria, in November 2018, to explore potential of Calabrian Food & Beverage.


Tourist potential was also explored.
While the Commercial Calabrian companies were preparing for their debut on the Chinese market, some agreements were signed with the tour operators, and the Chinese government issued a “Welcome Chinese Destination certification” for Calabria, which made the region the first in Italy adapted to the standards of Chinese tourism.
Not only that, the new Chinese tourists begin arrive in 2019: 5,000 arrivals are calculated until the middle of 2019, according to Zhang Chuniel, general manager of Cits, China International Travel Service, which launched an impressive communication campaign in Beijing.

Chinese tourists love Calabria


Along with tourism, the main attractor is indeed the agri-food sector. This is because the typical products of the region conquer the palate of the Chinese market that awaits already in the coming months, and only to start with, oil and wine made in Calabria.

“There are big spaces and we are ready to import the typical products of the region to satisfy new niches. This is why we asked the Calabrian companies to participate in the next China international fair in Shanghai” said Lin Bin.


The Hot Chili Pepper (so called “Diavolillo”) is the element that unites the two cultures. To the point that the Chinese giant Dezhuang, a worldwide producer, is a regular guest of the Diamante hot pepper festival, and has signed commercial agreements with the Calabrian “Diavolillo” producers.

Further, in the province of Guinzhou an international edition of the festival has been recently organized as part of the World Chilli Alliance. A world summit will follow for a sustainable hot chili pepper supply chain.

China loves our Hot Chili Pepper


The interest in the Special Economic Zone of the port of Gioia Tauro will be also reignited, after the Chinese visit of November 2018: 2,500 hectares of industrial areas, where it is possible to invest with incentives and incentives to companies.

Further, Lamezia airport, which seemed definitely cut off from the New Silk Road and from the commercial corridors (“One Belt, One Road”) for the expansion of China’s routes to Europe through the development of transport and logistics infrastructures, – instead returns to be evaluated as a possible destination.

Finally, Lin Bin visited the transhipment container terminal of Gioia Tauro and the retroport to consider potentiality of Chinese investments.


New business opportunities are now assessed and, from both parties, between universities and business accelerators are signed protocols for development and innovation.

Particularly, the collaboration between the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria with Shanghai and Nanjing continues to encourage the entry of innovative companies, startups and Calabrian researchers into the Asian market.

Above all, the visit of Chinese delegation of November 2018 confirmed that China likes Calabrian territory and its business opportunities!

Clementines of Calabria (“Mandarini”)


Calabrian cuisine hosts one of the sweetest citrus in the world, the so called “clementine” (Citrus clementina), which is a tangor, a hybrid between a willowleaf mandarin orange (Citrus deliciosa) and a sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). It is so named since 1902.


There is a lot of history and legend about the Orange (mother of clementine, the sweetest citrus in the world). Particularly, Orange is, symbolically, a Calabrian little sun.

From the Garden of Hesperides

This all-Calabrian fruit, modern but belonging to the noble citrus family, is, maybe, the famous “precious gold of the Garden of the Hesperides”. According to Greek mythology, Hera offered to her husband Zeus some small trees with golden fruits, symbol of fertility and love, that he, for fear that someone stole them, had kept in a garden at the extreme West of the world, guarded by a dragon and by the nymphs Hesperides, girls singing sweet songs and protagonists of many other legends.

Elios’ fruit

Another myth tells of Orange as the precious fruits beloved by Elios, the divinity of the sun, who, after finishing its daily course, went to rest right in the Garden of the Hesperides …


The clementine is a spontaneous citrus, arose in the late 19th century in Misserghin, Algeria. The name derives from the garden of the orphanage of Brother Marie-Clément, in Algeria, where it would be cultivated for the first time.

Another origin could be a similar fruit native to the provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong in present-day China (this explain the name “mandarin citrus”), but the main theory is that clementine arose from a cross between a sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and the Mediterranean willowleaf mandarin (Citrus deliciosa), in Algeria.


There are three types of clementines:

  • seedless clementines,
  • clementines with maximum of 10 seeds,
  • and Monreal (more than 10 seeds).

Italian Clementines resemble other citrus varieties such as the satsuma and tangerines. The main Italian varities are Clementine del Golfo di Taranto, Italian cultivar given Protected geographical indication (PGI) status by the European Union, produced around the Gulf of Taranto, and Clementine di Calabria, another Italian PGI variety, grown in the Calabria region.

Juicy and fresh


The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines can be separated into 7 to 14 segments. Similar to tangerines, they tend to be easy to peel. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges.

The exterior is small, round, sweet and fragrant, its color is the same as the fiery sunsets of the Mediterranean, of which it recalls myths and legends. The internal oils, like other citrus fruits, contain mostly limonene as well as myrcene, linalool, α-pinene and many complex aromatics.


The clementines are harvested from October to February in the province of Reggio Calabria: Ardore, Benestare, Bianco, Bovalino, Brancaleone, Casignana, Caulonia, Ferruzzano, Locri, Marina di Gioiosa Jonica, Monasterace, Portigliela, Roccella Jonica, Sant’Ilario dello Jonio, Siderno, Rizziconi, Gioia Tauro, Palmi, Rosarno, San Ferdinando.

In the province of Catanzaro: Borgia, Botricello, Curinga, Davoli, Lamezia Terme, Maida, Montauro, Montepaone, San Floro, San Pietro a Maida, Sant’Andrea Apostolo dello Jonio, Sellia Marina, Simeri Crichi, Soverato, Squillace, Catanzaro.

In the province of Cosenza: Cassano Jonio, Castrovillari, Corigliano Calabro, Crosia, Francavilla Marittima, San Lorenzo del Vallo, Spezzano Albanese, Terranova da Sibari, Trebisacce, Vaccarizzo Albanese, Rossano, Saracena, Cariati, Calopezzati, San Demetrio Corone, San Giorgio Albanese.

Fresh, into candied fruit, jam, juices, desserts, liqueurs…

In the province of Vibo Valentia: Briatico, Francavilla Angitola, Limbadi, Nicotera, Pizzo and in the province of Crotone: Cirò Marina, Crucoli Torretta, Rocca di Neto.

Clementines can be tasted fresh or made into candied fruit, jam, juices, sorbets, desserts and liqueurs. You keep an ambient temperature for 2 or 3 days, but if you want to keep them longer, they must be stored in the fridge.

…Taste this Mediterranean Authentic fruit of Calabria and you will find and appreciate Myth, History and the Real Scent of Calabrian Cuisine!