hile the act of squeezing an orange appears commonplace these days, this is not always the case. It is due to the determination of generations of botanists that we can enjoy a wide range of citrus fruit today. Niels Rodin is one of these enthusiasts.
In 2009, he planted his first yuzu tree in his garden in Gland (Vaud). Since then, this distant relative of the sculptor by the same name has dreamed of enhancing the range of fragrances that chefs and creators of gourmet trends in Switzerland can call upon by supplying them with an entire panoply of completely different fruit, from the enormous “Buddha’s Hand” citron to the tiny finger lime, and including specimens about which he is definitely the only Swiss to know anything.
A self-professed gourmet, Niels also works in his kitchen to glorify the aromatic molecules of his fruit. Generous by nature, he shares his discoveries further afield with food-processing artisans in western Switzerland who incorporate these subtle fragrances into products available to the public from various shops.
His passion and talent as a citrus grower provide regular subject matter for the press. A community of chefs and enquiring creators of flavours have become acquainted with his fruit, work with it and come back for more.
After several years of juggling between his greenhouses and his job as a tax consultant, this amateur citrus grower and 40-something gourmet decided to make his passion his main line of business, and his days have since been dedicated to developing his ever-changing cultures.
His ambitions? Supply restaurants and foodies by regularly offering them new things, historic treasures and out of the ordinary or little-known species.
So when will yuzu, “Buddha’s hand” and finger limes grown in Switzerland be on every gourmet Swiss table? “Very soon” promises this enthusiast with a zest for mischief.