Chestnut from Monte Amiata
- Category Food & Wine
The chestnut of Monte Amiata (PGI) designates the chestnuts referable to the varieties currently known as: Marrone, Bastarda Rossa, Cecio.Number of views: 2445
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Chestnut from Monte Amiata (PGI) is an Italian fruit and vegetable product with "Protected_geographical_indication". The production area is the western area of Monte Amiata, an extinct volcano that stands out in the heart of central Italy and in particular the territories of the municipalities of Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Santa Fiora, Seggiano, Cinigiano, Roccalbegna.
The chestnuts of Monte Amiata PGI are exclusively the varieties known as Cecio, Bastarda Rossa and Marrone. However, in order to be placed on the market, the fruits must belong to only one of the three varieties, with absolute prohibition on mixing them.
Amiata chestnuts, historical notes and tradition
In the Amiata area the chestnut has always been an important presence both for the goodness of its fruits and for the production of wood. Statutes dating back to the nineteenth century forbade damaging and cutting green plants and standing dry plants and regulated the chestnut harvest according to a precise calendar, according to which a period reserved for the owner of the chestnut grove was followed by another, where the harvest was free. . This last period could even go as far as carnival to allow everyone, even the poorest, to find a minimum of sustenance.
Often inside the chestnut groves there are seccatoi , stone huts, now almost all in a state of semi-abandonment, which have played a very important role in the past. They were used as places to dry chestnuts , which were then ground to obtain the primary good for every family of the past: chestnut flour. The drying rooms were small two-storey buildings divided by a sort of grid on which chestnuts were spread. Below, on the ground floor the fire was lit, which remained lit for about 40 days, during which the chestnuts had to be constantly turned.
Properties of the chestnut
Chestnuts are an energy food. They are rich in complex carbohydrates (starch), fiber, proteins and mineral salts. Good source of B vitamins, they contain iron, folic acid, and phosphorus for which they have the characteristic of enhancing memory and attention. Being a vegetable food, gift free of cholesterol, moreover, despite having characteristics similar to cereals, they do not contain gluten and can therefore also be consumed by those suffering from celiac disease. Chestnut honey is nourishing and energetic, recommended in cases of physical fatigue. It is an excellent source of proteins, vitamins B and C and mineral salts, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Recipes with chestnuts
The chestnut has been and still is the protagonist of various typical local recipes such as castagnaccio, necci and polenta called in the past "wooden pan" to indicate its origin from the fruit of a tree. It is still used for first, second and delicious desserts! An example of this is the mushroom and chestnut soup, which is part of the culinary tradition of Monte Amiata in Tuscany. In this area, mushrooms and chestnuts have always been the staple foods of the local population and this dish is able to represent, thanks to the combination of these ingredients, the culinary soul of these territories. The great and classic autumn ingredients come together and give life to an incredible mix of flavors, a real explosion of taste and beauty!
Read the recipe: Mushroom and chestnut soup