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Preserved Etrog (Citron)

Preserved Etrog (Citron)

This recipe is based on Oribasius (Medical Compilations 1:64), who was a Greek medical writer in the 4th century CE and the personal physician of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.
Course Dips
Cuisine Greek, Roman
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 citron Etrog (Citron)
  • 100 ml Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt


  • Take the citron and cut off its two ends.
  • Peel the citron.
    Etrog Peeled
  • Cut off the pith from the flesh in the center an slice it into small pieces.
    Etrog Pith Cut Up Into Small Pieces
  • Sprinkle the cut up pith with salt.
  • Place the cut up pith into a glass container. For one small citron you can use a 4 oz glass Mason jar with a lid.
    Etrog Pith Placed into a Small Glass Jar
  • Pour the vinegar into the jar over the cut up citron pith and make sure the pith is fully submerged.
    Etrog Pith in Jar Filled up with Vinegar
  • Leave the citron pith to soak in vinegar for 3 weeks or until the pith significantly softens.
    Finished preserved Etrog after 3 weeks of pickling in wine vinegar
  • After the pith becomes soft use it as seasoning for other dishes.


I recommend using a sweet good quality wine vinegar, such as Sweet Muscatel Vinegar or Sweet Pedro Ximenez Vinegar. A good brand from Spain that makes these vinegars is Los Villares and can be purchased in various stores in the US.
The reason a Citron has to be used for this recipe, and not a different citrus fruit, such as a lemon, lime, or orange, is because Citron is the only citrus fruit that has a very thick pith and a very small flesh core. All of the other fruits have a very thin pith (unusable) and are mostly made up of eatable fleshy core. Hence, this recipe is specifically made with Citron, since it utilizes the pith.
Sliced Citron showing the thick pithSliced Citron showing the thick pith