What kind of autumn is it without the chestnuts?!?
Are the woods yellow and brown, the vineyards orange and bronze and the hills? They absorb all the nuances that emerge from these warm colours and give life to an exciting spectacle for the heart and relaxing for the mind. In addition to the leaves that change color, the protagonists of this season, autumn, are the chestnuts, which thanks to their brownish color help to give life to this charge of energy that spreads throughout the countryside of Langhe!
How many types of chestnuts do you know? Today I will explain you some characteristics and some places where to find them, but I will also give you some advice on how to use them in the kitchen ? First, there is a substantial difference to know: the chestnut is the wild fruit of the chestnut, while the brown comes from cultivated trees. Chestnuts are not large in size, they are squashed on one side, with strong skin and tasty flesh, while the brown is larger, has a striped skin and sweet flesh.
Chestnuts in PIEMONTE and its TYPICAL PLACES
“MARRONE” (Brown) OF THE VAL SUSA IGP. These types of chestnuts belong to five different ecotypes: the Marrone di San Giorio di Susa, the Marrone di Meana di Susa, the Marrone di Sant’Antonino di Susa, the Marrone di Bruzolo and finally the Marrone di Villar Focchiardo. The main characteristic is given by the taste, very sweet, in fact they are mostly used for the preparation of marrons glacés.
CHESTNUT OF WEDGE IGP. It is cultivated in the mountain and valley areas of the province of Cuneo, its cultivation dates back to the twelfth century. A long time ago, in short! The chestnut of Cuneo PGI is medium in size and has a light brown to dark brown skin. It is used mainly for the preparation of flour, polenta, tagliatelle, ravioli and gnocchi.
If you want to spend a Sunday a little ‘different from the usual, Slow Days is planning an event that will guide you in the main places of our Piedmontese chestnuts: in the province of Pamparato, precisely in Viola there is a chestnut grove, managed by Marco Bozzolo, owner of the farm, which will reveal all the secrets of these autumn fruits! Have a look at the site for all the necessary information or write me an email ?
As you know, chestnuts are used mainly in the creation of sweets, such as chestnut cake, cakes made from chestnut flour and then do not forget the legendary and delicious marron glacés. But they are also very used for the preparation of “savory” dishes, let’s see some combinations … very succulent, I’ll tell you!
CHESTNUTS – CHEESES. Cheeses and chestnuts are a perfect match, for example the combination of ricotta and chestnuts or the dish of potato gnocchi and chestnuts served with a hot fondue is very recommended.
CHESTNUTS – SALAMI. Very famous as an appetizer the chestnut rolled up with a slice of lard, to make it even more appetizing you can stuff this small roll with honey! Another very hearty appetizer are the skewers of chestnuts and coppa! In short, it is clear that chestnuts and cured meats are excellent cooking companions!
CHESTNUTS – WINE. The wine goes very well with roast chestnuts, a typical autumn pairing, not to be missed in these months! A wine that certainly accompanies very well is the Dolcetto d’Alba DOCG, this goes so to dispel the saying of our grandmothers “Never drink (water!) after eating chestnuts …” ?
And you? Do you know of any other delicious combinations to make in the company of chestnuts?
P.S. Next week I will resume the speech Wines! I have not forgotten!