The PGI Hazelnut of Piemonte
A sacred plant in the past and celebrated in the present day for its delicious and refined fruit. The hazelnut is a tree that in the territory of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato has found the ideal soil in which to grow and offer its consumers the very best.
The hazelnut has always represented an important source of sustenance for human beings. Used since time gone by, a food that provides immediate energy, but also as a medicinal plant, as a matter of fact its leaves have purifying and anti-inflammatory properties while the glyceric extract is used to alleviate minor respiratory ailments. Always considered a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, the hazelnut known as the Tonda Gentile del Piemonte PGI represents a unique and highly valued product, so much so that cooking with them makes dishes magical.
The PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status identifies the Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnut. It has several defining characteristics that make it unique and different from other varieties, such as its thin shell, which helps to increase its yield, but above all the seed’s aroma and flavor. The history of this plant in the Basso Piemonte region can be traced back to around 1930. This crop had already integrated into local agriculture, but it is thanks to Professor Emanuele Ferraris that we owe its success. It was he who proved that the hazelnut is a hardy tree. In the past, because of the economic blockade wanted by Napoleon, the hazelnut became a staple food that, combined with cocoa, led to the discovery of an incredible new flavor.
In terms of production, the PGI Piemonte Tonda Gentile Hazelnut is grown following the so-called 'bush' methodology. Harvesting takes place between the second half of August and the first half of September, at which time the fruit independently detaches itself from the plant. After drying, removing excess moisture, the product is stored in special closed and ventilated areas until further processing. Such processing makes hazelnuts ready to go out into the world of gastronomy, where they then become the queens of the confectionery industry. They can be used as a base for making ice cream, cakes or chocolates, such as the famous gianduiotto, or in the form of flour, cream or grains. Their versatility makes them an excellent ingredient in terms of both taste and workability.
The PGI Piemonte Tonda Gentile Hazelnut is not only good, it also boasts numerous nutritional properties. This fruit contains vitamin E and many essential amino acids. The substantial intake of oleic acid results in a decrease in bad cholesterol, acting in favor of the cardiovascular system. A product of this caliber could only be controlled and promoted by an appointed body such as the Consorzio di Tutela della Nocciola Piemonte PGI. An association that has a thousand members ready to enhance and protect this prized fruit. The regulations govern its production and processing stages to guarantee an authentic product of unique quality.
The PGI Piemonte Round Hazelnut is one of the symbols of the territory of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and represents one of the gastronomic excellences of the region.