Chestnuts from Tuscany | The noblest of the noble
Today there are five regions in Tuscany whose chestnuts are of exceptional quality and are therefore protected.
Among them is the region around Mugello, barely an hour‘s drive from Florence. Chestnuts have been grown here since Roman times. Today, chestnut groves cover an area of 3,322 hectares at an altitude of 300 to 900 meters. The Mugello chest- nuts are geographically protected (IGP – Protected Geographical Identification) and are characterized by white, crunchy flesh with sweet aromas. Connoisseurs particularly appreciate the „Marron Buono di Marradi“, but the other varieties, such as the Carpinese, Fragonese or the Cecio are also popular chestnuts.
Another famous chestnut region is on Monte Amiata (Castagna del Monte Amiata IGP) about an hour each from Grosseto to the west and Chiusi to the east. The former volcano offers the perfect soils and the suitable climatic conditions, so that the chestnuts have here the best conditions to grow and prosper.
Strict regulations ensure to this day that no overexploitation or felling occurs at the wrong time of year and that neither artificial fertilizers nor other agricultural chemicals are used. It is also interesting to note that the statutes of early times provided for two harvesting seasons: The first for the owner of the trees and then a time when everyone was allowed to har- vest. Thus, until the beginning of Carnival, even the poorest of the poor had the opportunity to provide themselves with food for the winter.
In the very east of Tuscany, in the province of Arezzo, the wonderfully sweet Marrone di Caprese Michelangelo DOP grows and enchants the palates of connoisseurs every year. The chestnut flours „Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana DOP“ and Lunigiana DOP are also of excellent quality and are highly appreciated by connoisseurs and gourmets in various chestnut dishes.
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