Once the lemons were picked, they were sorted according to size (fine, superfine, second-rate, rejects, and overly ripe) and different destinations. The fine, superfine, and best of the second-rate lemons went to Hungary, Tyrol and nearby countries, "leaving in Italy the second-rates and rejects, which were rarely sold outside the province."
Thus, lemons were given various names: fine lemons for Poland, fine lemons for Hungary, fine lemons for Russia, superfine lemons for Austria, superfine lemons for Vienna, rejects for commercial purposes, rejects for Milan, etc. Each type had a different price, which was given for one hundred lemons.
Lemons were wrapped in tissue paper and placed in wooden crates: each could hold between 500 and 1,000 lemons. Transportation also had to ensure that the product arrived in good condition at destination, so crates were loaded and unloaded carefully to prevent lemons from bruising and deteriorating in quality. Shipping the fruit to the most remote destinations was the biggest hazard: fruit traveling north went by way of Torbole Nago to Bolzano, where there was a sorting station. Because they cost less to ship compared to lemons from Genoa and Southern Italy, Limone's citrus fruits were mainly shipped to Germany, Northern Europe and Russia.
In the early 18th century, Gian Domenico Bettoni founded the "G. Francesco Bentotti" company in Bogliaco for the lemon trade. It has agents throughout Italy and Northeastern Europe. The Bettoni archive has the registry books and correspondence between the company and its agents, as well as balance sheets and letters with the names of recipients from Vienna, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Lviv, Ulm, Konstanz, Trieste, Milan, etc.
Since the 18th century, the coastal area north of Salò, at the latitude of 46 degrees, became the northernmost area in the world for growing citrus fruits. The lake garda lemon was appreciated for its "medicinal" qualities, its "acidity", the "aromatic fragrance of its juice and peel", and its "freshness that lasts longer than any other". Its thin, shiny peel and rounder shape were also preferred. As a result, Garda lemons cost two to three times more than lemons from other areas of Italy.
According to Lodovico Bettoni, Limone sul Garda grew the "perfect lemon". A letter dated December 10, 1846, from the Bentotti company to Giuseppe Della Casa, described the goods as being the best, and pointed out, "I am sending you lemons from Limone, which are the largest and have the best color."
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