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Aspromonte chestnuts

Chestnuts are grown in Aspromonte since ancient times and are now considered as a typical food product that characterize the gastronomic culture of the Gallico valley. Before rural depopulation, chestnut was considered the main food in the farmers diet, as it is very nutritious and rich, and can be used either as a fruit or flour. The chestnut was also called "bread tree" because it was entirely used: from the leaves to the branches, from its fruits to the flowers (the famous chestnut honey).

This is the reason why the chestnut was also called "bread of the poor" as it was the basic element of the mountain economy.
In Calabria, from Aspromonte to Pollino, the most productive varieties are the "Lucente", the "Giacchettara", the "Curcia", the "Nserta" (round shape and medium size), appreciated for their organoleptic properties. The "Riggiola", oval and slightly flattened, is excellent when dried, candied or used for recipes such as chestnuts must. The "Mamma " and "Selvatico di Cenadi" are excellent varieties of chestnuts wood. Harvested from September to November, chestnuts can be eaten fresh or dried, raw, boiled or roasted. Most popular autumnal fruit, can be used as main ingredient for appetizers, desserts, and very appreciated traditional dishes. Chestnuts flour can be used to prepare the "pitticelle" (pancakes), buns and bread. Because of its importance for implementing local economy and tourism, a chestnut museum has been created in Cerva (CZ).

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