The Pescabivona PGI refers to peaches with firm white flesh belonging to the Prunus persica L. Batsch species, which are characterised by their spherical shape and the white-yellow-green background colour of the skin that has a red blush. Four different ecotypes are produced: Murtiddara or Primizia Bianca, Bianca, Agostina and Settembrina, which differ in their ripening period as well as in their specific characteristics.
The production area of Pescabivona PGI falls within the Magazzolo river basin, south-west of the Sicani Mountains, and in particular within the territory of the municipalities of Bivona, Alessandria della Rocca, S. Stefano Quisquina and S. Biagio Platani in the Province of Agrigento, and Palazzo Adriano in the Province of Palermo, in the Sicily region.
The production system must be carried out according to traditional cultivation techniques. The planting density per hectare varies from 400 to 1,250 plants, and three different peach training systems may be used: open vase, delayed vase and fusetto. Organic and/or mineral fertilizers can be used and are applied with the fertigation technique and foliar fertilization, in both winter and during the vegetative stage. The harvest takes place when the fruit is ripe enough to preserve its typical qualities until the moment it is consumed in its fresh state, and for this reason, each of the different peach varieties must be hand-picked in various stages. Once harvested, the fruit may be cold-stored, but only for a limited period of time that must not exceed 20 days.
Appearance and Flavour
Pescabivona PGI is distinguished by the limited extension of the red blush on the skin, which must always be less than 50%, and which in the Settembrina ecotype is reduced to a single strip of red along the suture. The flesh is white and characterised by a remarkable consistency, with a velvety, sweet flavour.
Now a true icon of the Sicilian town of Bivona, peach crops have developed remarkably since the first peach orchards were planted in the area of “S. Matteo” during the 1950s, passing quickly from a few acres to the more than 1,100 of today. The first variety to be selected from among the range of local plants was the Agostina, which was chosen for its fine qualities and particularly favourable ripening period. The territory’s vocation for peach cultivation led to the selection of the other cultivars: Murtiddara, Bianca and Settembrina, the first two ripening mid-season and the latter late season.
It is best to keep Pescabivona PGI fruit at room temperature and to consume them when they reach the ideal consistency for fully appreciating their juiciness and sweetness, taking care to avoid exposure to heat sources and direct sunlight that can accelerate the ripening process. In addition to being suitable for eating as fresh table fruit, Pescabivona PGI can be served in fruit salad, seasoned with lemon and wine, or accompanied by ice cream. Thanks to the intense flavour and good sugar-acid ratio, they are particularly suited for making tasty jams. They are also ideal for making excellent ice creams and refreshing granitas.
The product is marketed as Pescabivona PGI in the typologies Murtiddara or Primizia Bianca (ripening between June 15th and July 15th), Bianca (from July 16th to August 15th), Agostina (from August 16th to September 15th) and Settembrina (from September 16th to October 20th), which must be specified on the crate and can also be indicated on the label.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Pescabivona PGI is that even late ripening fruit, harvested at the beginning of autumn, maintain the qualities of summer peaches, preserving the extreme sweetness and velvety flavour, as well as the remarkable consistency of the white flesh.