To fall rhymes with chestnuts: boiled, roasted, in fragrant soups or scenographic desserts, delicious berries, celebrated in festivals, parties and traditional recipes, from north to south of the peninsula. Considered since Antiquity as the “bread of the poor” for its nutritional and energy contribution, the chestnut is rich in vitamins and mineralshave a more or less white pulp of good taste and of crunchy texture: small fruits rich in flavors, original and versatile, excellent in sweet or savory dishes. By habit, with the term “chestnuts” we usually also indicate i chestnutsin fact, however, we are talking about fruits that differ in origin, shape and size: the first one I am spontaneous, seconds they are the result of a human culture from transplants, crosses and sizes. From the Susa Valley to Cilento, passing through the Bolognese hills and the Tuscan Apennines, in Italy they are a lot varieties of chestnuts and chestnutseach with its own characteristics: here are the most importanthow to recognize them and take full advantage of them.
I am chestnuts chestnutsspontaneous trees from the Apennine regions belonging to the Family of Fagaceae. More or less rounded, with more or less sweet pulpthere are many varieties of chestnuts Dop And PGI in Italy. Here are the best known and most valuable.
1. Chestnut of Cuneo Igp
Consumed fresh, dried or in the form of flour, the chestnut from Cuneo Igp he comes cultivated since the 12th century in the mountainous regions of province of the same name, from the Po Valley to the Tanaro Valley. This Piedmontese variety of chestnuts is recognized for round shape and brown skin more or less clear according to the sub-varieties. In the kitchen, it lends itself well to being roasted, boiled or used in mousses and sweet creams.
2. Chestnut from Montella Igp
Will pass Campania and more specifically inAvellines Apennines we can taste the Montella Igp chestnut, a small variety in size but big in taste. white pulp and strong flavor reminiscent slightly caramelized notesthe chestnut from Montella Igp it is excellent if used in sweet and savory dishes but also in creams and jams; externally, it is small and round with light brown skin.
3. Chestnut from Vallerano Dop
The Chestnut of Valleranobrand protected PDO since 2009is a production that is more unique than rare: indeed it is grown only in the commune from which it takes its name, in province of Viterbo. The main characteristic of the Vallerano chestnut is in the skin: reddish color, so fine that it comes off even when the fruit is not yet ripe, it hides and protects a light pulp that is very resistant to cooking. The Vallerano chestnut is crunchy and lovingly sweet: we can take advantage of it fresh, boiled, starters as well as a filler for meat main courses or sweet recipes; a chestnut that is good for a bit of everything.
4. Chestnut from Monte Amiata Igp
We go up to the provinces of His And Grossetoin Tuscany, to find and taste a PGI chestnut in varieties: Cecio, Marrone and Bastard (yes, that’s exactly what it’s called). Variety of large dimensions variable in shape and color: oval in the Marrone and Bastarda Rossa types, the Cecio variety more spherical and globose. Light colored paste and sweet and delicate flavor, the chestnut of Monte Amiata Igp is the protagonist of typical local dishesfrom polenta to castagnaccio and the characteristic Tuscan necci.
Browns are result of human cultivation that from the chestnut trees and through pruning, grafts and experiments, he “created” and saw them grow different varieties some of these fruits protected by the DOP and IGP marks. Here they are in detail.
1. Marrone della Val di Susa Igp
That of the chestnuts in Val Suse it is a culture as ancient as it is fascinating, entrusted since the 13th century to the care and meticulousness of the monks and even before (it seems) the gods Templars. Val di Susa chestnut Igp is divided into five subvarieties according to the specific production area: San Giorio di Susa, Meana di Susa, Sant’Antonio di Susa, Bruzolo and Villar Focchiardo. How to recognize it? Pulp white and crispbrown skin with light reddish streaks, very sweet taste.
2. Marrone di Combai Igp
ancient culture which has its roots in the Middle Ages, the chestnut of Combai Igp is a great little pride of Brand Trevigiana, including eleven small municipalities. Celebrated in a special party between October and November, Marrone di Comabai has an ovoid shape, shiny skin and a whitish pulp with pleasantly sweet flavor.
3. Marrone di san Zeno Dop
We are on it Lake Gardaparticularly on its Veronese side: there is the culture of brown of San Zeno, a variety with thin, light brown skin and yellow flesh. The brown of San Zeno is recognized for its good taste and its pasty consistency: not a simple “fruit” but a true star of the regionprotagonist of traditional dishes such as castanea, a soup made with chestnuts, vegetables and legumes.
4. Marrone di Roccadaspide Igp
Between the Calore River Valley and the Alburni Mountainsin the lands of Cilentowe find the culture of Rockcadaspid BrownIgp since 2008. A variety of ancient origins, mainly marketed as plain flour, canned in syrup or creamsthe brown Roccadaspide is “subdivided” into three ecotypes: Anserta, Abate and Red Chestnut; its pulp is clear, sweet in taste and not floury. To absolutely try the local recipe of castagnaccio, real pride of Cilento cuisine.
5. Chestnut from Castel del Rio Igp
Know and savor chestnut from Castel del Rio let’s take a leap into the province of Bologna, in the Santerno Valley. Here we find a variety with fine pulp and dal sweet and intense flavora product that has been cultivated for centuries and is the protagonist of many typical dishes of the territory: together with chestnuts, in this region they prepare practically everything, from cappelletti stuffed with mashed potatoes, to meringues, passing through soups and pancakes. A curiosity: the locals appreciate this fruit so much that they have even dedicated a museum to it.
6. Chestnut of Mugello Igp
That of Mugelloalready cultivated by the ancient Romans, is a really delicious brown: produced from chestnut trees attributable to the Marrone Fiorentino variety and protagonist of many traditional Tuscan recipes, the Mugello brown Igp he has reddish skin with dark streaks and a good tasting pulp incredibly soft and sweet.
7. Marrone di Serino Igp
We end our journey and stop at Irpiniain Province of Avellino, a land rich in flavors and traditions. Here, during the autumn months, one can taste the Serino chestnuts in its two varieties, Montemarano and Verdole: thin skin and rounded shape, Serino brown has a milky white pulpfirm and soft in the right place (deserves volcanic soil, rich in mineral salts). The Serino Brown it can be tasted fresh, simply boiled or in the typical dish “chestnuts and fasule”traditional winter soup made from chestnuts and beans.