The Pompia, an ancient and mysterious citrus fruit, grows in Siniscola like a strange gift of nature. It has been known for at least three hundred years and its origin is still unknown but it is one of the plant species that grows only in the Siniscolese territory. This citrus fruit has an appearance somewhat similar to a citron. The tree seems more like an orange tree but the branches are thorny like those of a lemon tree and the leaves are large and oval.
The most accepted hypothesis for now defines it as a hybrid developed naturally from the crossbreeding of lime and lemon, perhaps in medieval times.
''Sa Pompia'' is one of the largest citrus fruits that is known: its circumference, irregularly shaped, can reach 70 cm, and it can reach 700 g weight.
Pompia trees (organically grown) are very durable, after flowering it matures a round shaped slightly flattened and deformed fruit. The skin, deep yellow, lumpy, thick and rough sometimes takes unusual forms which probably gave origin to its scientific name, Citrus Monstruosa. The harvesting of the fruit takes place in the cold months from November through January.
The Pompia has a strong historical connection with the area because it owes its survival to the fact that only in the town of Siniscola this plant has found a use in the preparation of the town's most traditional sweets known as ''Sa Pompia Intrea'' and ''S 'Aranzata", cooked according to an ancient recipe handed down orally.
This fruit is used to produce lots of food preparations, including panna cotta with Pompia, slush, ice creams, sorbets and jams; furthermore, an excellent digestive liqueur called "Pompia liqueur" is produced with the yellow outer skin you eliminate from the fruit to make candied fruit.
The Pompia was and is used for other purposes as well as for the food industry. The pulp, unusable in this sense, was used to polish copper, brass and gold as the very acid juice corrodes oxidations and is also used for hand washing as it is an excellent cleanser; furthermore, this fruit has unique characteristics in its kind as it is rich in essential oils and is used in cosmetics and herbalism because Pompia is an excellent tonic and is a natural remedy to treat coughs, sore throats, colds and lack of appetite.
On 18 August 2004, thanks to the Equal project (a Community Initiative programme), "Sa Pompia" slow food was established.
“Sa Pompìa” è ritenuta il dolce più prelibato e raffinato della cucina locale: per questo motivo è sempre stato il dolce per eccellenza delle grandi occasioni (matrimoni, battesimi, ecc…) e, per dirla tutta, di chi se lo poteva permettere. Nonostante le materie prime siano tutto sommato piuttosto comuni e a basso costo, la sua meticolosa preparazione con l’utilizzo del miele e dello zucchero, ha da sempre fatto si che fosse ritenuta un dolce particolarmente ricercato e costoso.
Questo dolce tipico ricavato dalla laboriosa e complessa lavorazione di questo frutto e “Sa Pompia Intrea” che richiede tempi di lavorazione lunghissimi ( almeno sei ore).
Ecco il disciplinare di produzione de Sa Pompia nell’ambito del presidio slow food: download