After the lemon festival Segolene and I were motivated to get out in the countryside surrounding Menton to find some of the real deal. Thanks to the Association for the Proteciton of Menton Lemons (APCM) we were able to find the Tosan family orchards near the village of St. Agnes.

Perched on hills terraced by his forefathers, Jean-Claude Tosan still cultivates lemons, mandarins and oranges using the tools and methods used by his great great grandfather.

Monsieur Tosan

The lemons produced here are not chemically treated and are so sweet and tasty that you can eat the peel. Today’s variety are not the traditional Menton variety, since this tree was plagued by fungus during the last twenty years. A frost in the late 1950s killed most of the ancient trees planted by his grandparents, but a row of orange trees were grafted on the trunks of some of the old trees.

Lemon Tree Closeup

Mr and Mrs Tosan maintain and harvest the orchard on their own. Upwards of 500 kilos each year are hauled across the property by the couple. In addition to lemons, there are clementines which we tasted right off the tree.

Mme. Tosan was kind enough to share the traditional Lemon Meringue Pie recipe she uses. We will try the recipe and share tomorrow, stay tuned!

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