Italy's largest fruit crops include grapes, tomatoes, figs, lemons and olives. Other fruits such as apples and pears are also grown in Italy on a smaller scale.
The fruits grown in Italy are not only an important part of Italian cuisine and a Mediterranean diet but also a significant element of Italy's economy. Olives are one of the country's most famous fruit crops. As reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy is the world's second largest producer of olive oil. An average of 464,000 tons of olive oil is produced yearly in Italy.
Grapes are another fruit grown plentifully in Italy. The fruit is commonly eaten alone or incorporated into sauces and desserts. A large grape crop also allows for Italy's profitable wine-making industry.
Lemons are one of Italy's more versatile fruits and are typically used in a wide array of recipes, both sweet and savory, and in drinks. Lemon trees grow in the southern regions of Italy. The flavor of the fruits can vary from tangy to sweet based on the surrounding soil. Olives, lemons, tomatoes, figs, pears and other fruits grown in Italy are essential ingredients in the country's classic recipes, such as the Veal and Lemon Saltimbocca found on the Food Network.