Nature’s own “vitamin bombs” hang from every corner of Dubrovnik, from private gardens to rows and rows of trees in orchards, citrus fruits have found a welcoming home in this region. Lemons, grapefruits, oranges, mandarins, clementines, limes...the list of citrus fruits that enjoy the favourable climate of the Dubrovnik region is endless. A combination of the guaranteed Adriatic sunshine and the plentiful supply of clean, fresh water make Dubrovnik a haven for these bitter sweet bundles of joy.
As with many other fruits and vegetables in Dubrovnik there is a season, these are fruits grown in harmony with Mother Nature and are not forced to grow out of their normal lifecycle. The manicured walled gardens of the historic Old City, the sprawling villages of the hinterland and the open plains of the river basins, each has their own varieties and their own methods. Without doubt the biggest supplier of citrus fruits in the region is the Nerevta River delta. Spreading over 30,000 acres the Neretva supplies the delta with a constant source of fresh water; of course the sunshine is plentiful as well. Try a Mandarin from Neretva, full of juice and brimming with aroma and you’ll be hooked.
When it comes to citrus fruits in Dubrovnik nothing goes to waste. Of course, when they are in season, the fruits are consumed in large measures, but then there are jams, marmalades, candid peels, fruit juices, desserts, liquors and even Christmas decorations. Many families in Dubrovnik pick them directly from the tree in the morning and make their own fresh orange juice for breakfast.
The region even has its own specialities. The “bitter orange” grown around the city is, as the name suggests, too sour to eat directly from the tree, however it makes excellent jams and cakes. And if you search the cobbled streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik you will even find bitter orange flavoured ice-cream.
What better way to get your daily dose of vitamin C than from a freshly picked citrus fruit. Loaded with Mediterranean sunshine and orange a day will keep the doctor away.