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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CHESTNUT

The chestnut was once also called "bread of the poor" and represented an important food for the populations of the Alpine valleys of Piedmont.
The cultivation of chestnut trees to get the popular fruit is grown mainly in the foothills of Cuneo


"The first references to the cultivation of the chestnut tree in the province of Cuneo date from the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. From the fourteenth century, the documents become increasingly more accurate and there are numerous references in the statutes of local chestnut trees protected.
The cultivation of chestnut grew until the early decades of the twentieth century: the beginning of the 900 were produced in Piedmont, 550,000 of which 350,000 tons of chestnuts in the province of Cuneo. From WWII until the 70s, there has been a sharp drop in production of chestnuts mainly due to the exodus of the population of the Alpine valleys and hills to the big cities or abroad. The annual production in the '70s was attested, in Piedmont, about 100,000 tons, of which 65,000 in the province of Cuneo. "
Taken from: BUR Piedmont, Supplement to Number 23 - June 6, 2002

Today in the Alpine valleys are trying to revive the chestnut with important initiatives, particularly at the level of local institutions.

In addition to the traditional "brusatà" or roasted chestnuts, cooked chestnuts on the fire with a special pan with holes, the recipes are thousands of its use chestnuts. The preparation of the noblest and most famous is undoubtedly that of Maron Glace, but the montblanc, risotto with chestnuts, etc. ...

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