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Chios Mandarin

The story of Chios Mandarin (Citrus deliciose tenore) cultivation and its extensive trade routes can be traced back to the 14th century, arriving in Europe from India and Asia and brought to the island by the Genoese in the 15th century.

This aromatic citrus fruit was so highly prized that each one was carefully wrapped in tissue paper, printed with the orchard’s emblem, so as to protect the fruit while being transported by ship. The renowned Chios Mandarin became popular in Greece and abroad, due to its distinct fragrance and bold flavour; alongside the cultivation and trade of Chios Mastic*. The enterprising merchants of Chios distributed this distinctive delicacy and it is no coincidence that the word ‘murovolos’ or ‘fragrant’ is used to characterize the island.

The distinctly fragrant Chios Mandarin has grown in the orchards of Kambos estates on Chios’ eastern coast and was recently granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the European Commission. Fruit, specifically citrus, slowly became Chios island’s main source of wealth. Local aristocrats built these elegant mansions as summer homes and framed them with high walls to protect their orchards from the fierce winds and prying neighbours. The trees were watered by an irrigation system of water wheels powered by donkeys. Over 10 years ago, one of these mansions was the birthplace of CITRUS, but more recently we have transferred our production to central Athens and the Mandarin’s journey continues… Now defined as an historical site by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Kambos region remains a captivating place to discover.

*Chios Mastic is a Protected Designation of Origin Product (PDO). The mastic tree is patiently cultivated on the southern part of the island; the trunk and branches are scored in order to collect the precious resin, fondly known as “tears”. This unique product has been recognized for its aromatic and therapeutic properties since antiquity.