Flavors of France > Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur > A culinary journey
Menton, a town-resort with an outstanding climate nestling between the Principallity of Monaco and the Italian Riviera, offers exceptional gardens, preserved architectural heritage and a gentle way of life. The town backs onto a mountain, partly wooded and partly under cultivation, mainly with citrus fruits and olives.
The legend was right… Have you heard it?
A nice legend tells how the lemon tree first took root in Menton. Expelled from the Garden of Eden along with Adam, Eve took with her a golden fruit. Adam, fearing divine wrath, begged her to throw
the fruit away. She agreed, but on the condition that she leave it in the place of her choosing. They crossed mountains, valleys and plains, but nowhere pleased her. Suddenly, the Bay of Garavan, in Menton, appeared before them. The beauty of the bay, the mild climate and the luxuriant vegetation: everything reminded them of paradise. Eve buried the lemon in the ground, and this is where the town of Menton later sprang up…
The Lemon of Menton differs from its Italian, Spanish and Corsican relatives.
February-March - Menton bursts out in a riot of colour for her citrus-scented celebration, one of the Côte d'Azur's most popular events. Get your fix of vitamin C as you admire huge constructions made out of citrus fruits. The fruity floats parade through the streets every Sunday during the festival and are visible in the Jardins Biovès daily.
A very bright yellow
Several varieties of lemons are grown in the Menton region: Santa Theresa, Villafranca, Eureka… “The shape is more elliptical than round with a bright yellow colour”. “It is also characterized by very fructiferous branches bearing up to fifteen fruits, while there are less than five to a branch on most lemon trees. The research together with the INRA* reveals that the lemon grown in the Menton region is rich in acid and essence, with a high essential oil content in the peel.”
La confiturerie Herbin where you can find the secret of the citrus jam
The Casetta, the citrus nursery
The Carnolès Palace : The town’s Gardens Department also wants to promote local botanical heritage, drawing special attention to the citrus collection at the Palais Carnolès: “It’s very interesting from both a botanical and a protectionist point of view, consisting of over 100 different varieties of fruit (11 different kinds of lemon, 6 of citron, 20 of orange and 8 of lime, as well as manderines, clementines, kumquats, bergamots, Seville oranges, grapefruits, and pomelos) spread out over 340 trees.
Some citrus to taste? Try an orange wine liquor with a slice of lemon pie... from Menton... of course!
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