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The White Figs of the Cilento & elegant Azienda Santo Miele

The white figs of the Cilento count among the culinary insiders’ tips for southern Campania. When dried, they hardly differ from the other kinds from the Mediterranean area – but only at first glance. 

 

The White Figs of the Cilento & elegant Azienda Santo Miele

The white figs of the Cilento count among the culinary insiders’ tips for southern Campania. When dried, they hardly differ from the other kinds from the Mediterranean area – but only at first glance. 

Exquisite fig products between tradition and modern times - Il Fico Bianco del Cilento DOP

What makes them special becomes obvious, when you have a look at the fresh, unprocessed fruit. The skin is of pale yellow-green color and very soft. The flesh of the white fig is rather light and tender; its seeds are much finer than those of other kinds of figs. Its intensely sweet flavor is also very special.

These special features finally decided in favor of the figs being acknowledged as a protected DOP-product (Denominazione di Origine protetta).

Fig cultivation in the Cilento

The low fig trees grow all over the Cilento. However, it is in the green hilly landscape where the rocky ground is rich in minerals that they thrive particularly well.

In the Cilento, nearly 70 communities work in the field of fig cultivation and processing. About 30 percent of all the figs harvested in Italy are in fact from the Cilento.   

The fresh figs are mostly processed into delicious, fine jam. During harvest time in September/October the pale fruit is also a popular dessert after lunch or supper.

A large part of the harvest is processed into dried fruit. In this quite natural way, they can be stored and kept for a long time. In earlier times, sailors took along dried figs as provisions when departing on long voyages. Rich in energy, the dried figs also served as a snack or in-between meal for the small farmers in the Cilento while working in the fields.

Azienda Santo Miele

The elegant enterprise at Prignano Cilento has specialized in the processing and marketing of the white Cilento figs. Thanks to Santo Miele, this almost forgotten fruit has become popular again. Its products are considered delicacies, above all in foreign countries.

The Azienda’s name refers to the place where the grandfather of Antonio Longo, today’s managing director, founded the business in 1930. Antonio, the third generation, has been running the enterprise since 1999 and he moved it to a former oil mill at Prignano Cilento some years ago.

In modern and light flooded surroundings, it is by hand that Antonio’s 15 employees 'create' traditional as well as innovative fig products. The focus is on the production of the dried figs.

Santo Miele purchases the figs from 32 small-scale farmers from the northern Cilento. After it has been harvested, the fruit is sun-dried for 5 days. At the enterprise, it is dried in the oven at low heat once more. That is the only way to make it a hygienically impeccable product. No chemical substances are used for its preservation.

Melassa & home-made chocolate

The dried figs are, in general, filled with nuts, almonds, grapes, citrus peels and refined by adding cinnamon, fennel and all kinds of other spices. At Christmas time, in particular, they are very popular in Italy.

Santo Miele coats dried figs with chocolate, too, and the chocolate they use is home-made at the Azienda. Many bridal couples, for example, decide on the chocolate-covered figs as their wedding confectionaries.  

Very much to be recommended – melassa, sweet syrup made from the dried figs and delicious with fresh ricotta cream and other types of cheese.

Guided tour & degustation

Visits to the enterprise are possible year-round and require advance registration. Admire the elegant open lay-out of the former oil mill, which offers the perfect frame for the artfully wrapped fig products. Watch the women fill and pack the figs and then taste the chocolate figs, melassa & Co.

Information

Guided tours between 10-12 h and 15-18 h (not on Sundays); in English
min. 2 pers.; duration ca. 60 min
10 EUR/ pers. incl. small degustation
Registration in time under +39 0974 833 275
Azienda Santo Miele - Salita S. Giuseppe 1 - 84060 Prignano Cilento (SA)

The program of our Individual gourmet tour includes a visit to Azienda Santo Miele.