Typical Italian products: Castagna di Cuneo PGI

Typical Italian products: Castagna di Cuneo PGI

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Production area

Production area: 110 Municipalities of the Province of Cuneo.
Historically, the crops date back to the 12th century, a historical period in which part of the arable land was represented by the chestnut. Currently, the specification states that chestnut groves are located in sunny locations sheltered from the wind, with harvesting in early September and ending in November.


The following chestnut varieties are included in the PGI Castagna Cuneo, referring to the species Castanea Sativa: Ciapastra, Tenpuriva, Bracalla, Contessa, Pugnante, Sarvai d'Oca, Sarvai di Gurg, Sarvaschina, Syria, Rubiera, Marrubia, Gentile, Verdesca, Castagna della Madonna, Frattona, Gabbana, Rossastra, Crou, Garrone Rosso, Garrone Nero, Brown of Chiusa Pesio, Spina Lunga.
Cuneo Chestnut is the undisputed queen in the large recipe book of Cuneo cuisine and certifies the known traditionality of chestnut, in the areas of origin.
In addition to being eaten fresh, Chestnut is used in numerous dishes of simple peasant tradition and used in elaborate recipes.
Next to boiled or roasted chestnuts, with the mundaj - chocolate roll with chestnuts - symbol of celebration and joy during the celebrations, alongside the marron glacé, or used in savory recipes, with roast pork and roe deer.

Chestnut of Cuneo PGI

Production specification - Castagna di Cuneo PGI

Article 1
Product name
The protected geographical indication "Castagna Cuneo" is reserved for fresh and dried fruits, obtained from fruit chestnut trees (Castanea sativa), which meet the conditions and requirements established in this specification.

Article 2
Product description
With the protected geographical indication "Castagna Cuneo", only the following varieties of chestnuts referable to the species Castanea sativa with the exclusion of interspecific hybrids can be designated:
Ciapastra, Tempuriva, Bracalla, Contessa, Pugnante, SarvaidOca, Sarvai di Gurg, Sarvaschina, Syria, Rubiera, Marrubia, Gentile, Verdesa, Castagna della Madonna, Trowel, Gabiana, Reddish, Crou, Garrone Rosso, Garrone Nero, Brown of ChiusaPesio, Long thorn.
Also excluded is the product obtained from coppices, coppices, fustaie derived from aged coppices, even if of the specified type.
Product characteristics
Castagna Cuneo I.G.P. it is distinguished by its sweet and delicate flavor and by the crispness of the epicarp which makes it particularly suitable for both fresh and processed consumption.
The protected geographical indication "Castagna Cuneo" can only be used for chestnuts which, when released for consumption, have the following characteristics:
Fresh chestnut:
external coloring of the pericarp: from light brown to dark brown;
ilo: more or less wide, never protruding on the lateral faces,
hazel colored stellar radius;
epicarp: yellow to light brown, consistently basically crunchy;
seed: white to cream;
flavor: sweet and delicate;
size: maximum number of achenes per kg = 110.
Regarding the homogeneous guarantee, the difference in weight between ten smaller and ten larger fruits in the same package must not exceed 80 g.
Internal or external defects are not allowed (split fruit, buggy, moldy, internal worm) on more than 10% of the fruits.
Dried chestnut:
shelled dried chestnuts must be whole, healthy, light straw-colored. Defects (traces of basing, deformation, breaks, fruits with traces of pericarp, etc.) on more than 10% of dried fruits are not allowed. The moisture content in the whole dried fruit thus obtained cannot exceed 15%.

Article 3
Production area
The production area of ​​the "Castagna Cuneo" I.G.P. includes the following municipalities in the province of Cuneo:
Aisone, Alto, Bagnasco, Bagnolo Piemonte, Barge, BastiaMondovi, Battifollo, Beinette, Bernezzo, Borgo S. Dalmazzo, Boves, Briaglia, Brondello, Brossasco, Busca, Caprauna, Caraglio, Cartignano, Castellar, Castelletto Stura, Castellino Tanaro, Castelmagno, Castelnuovo Ceva, Cervasca, Ceva, Chiusa Pesio, Ciglie, Costigliole Saluzzo, Cuneo, Demonte, Dronero, Entracque, Envie, Frabosa Soprana, Frabosa Sottana, Ash, Gaiola, Gambasca, Garessio, Igliano, Isasca, Lagnasco, Lesegno, Limone Piemonte, Lisio, Magliano Alpi (detached fraction), Manta, Martiniana Po, Melle, Moiola, Monastero Vasco, Monasterolo Casotto, Monbasiglio, Mondovi, Montaldo di Mondovi, Montemale di Cuneo, Monterosso Grana, Montezemolo, Niella Tanaro, Nucetto, Ormea, Paesana, Pagno, Pamparato, Paroldo, Perlo, Peveragno, Pianfei, Piasco, Pradleves, Priero, Priola, Revello, Rifreddo, Rittana, Roaschia, Roascio, Robilante, Roburent, Roccabruna, Roccaciglie, Roccaforte Mondovi, Roccasparvera, Roccavione, Rossana, S. Michele Mondovi, Sale Langhe, Sale San Giovanni, Saliceto, Saluzzo, Sampeyre, San Damiano Macra, Sanfront, Scagnello, Torre Mondovi, Torresina, Valdieri, Valgrana, Valloriate, Valmala, Venasca, Vernante, Verzuolo, Vicoforte, Vignolo, Villanova Mondovi, Villar S. Costanzo , Violet.

Article 4
Elements proving the origin The origin of Cuneo's chestnut growing is very ancient and the first references date back to the end of the XII century (Carteggio dellaCertosa di Pesio: 1173-1277). White chestnuts are mentioned in the documents of the Municipalities of Envie and Martiniana Po dating back to 1291.
The first indications regarding the methods of protection of fruit orchards are found in the municipal statutes of the Val Tanaro villages dating back to 1300 while indications on the sanctions to be applied in the case of illicit or fraudulent collection of the fruits are reported in the statutes of Gambasca, Lesegno, Chiusa Pesio and Sanfront ( Tamagnone, 1969; Barelli, Di Quarti, 1966; Botteri, 1982).
As evidence of the spread, in many areas of the province of Cuneo, of the technique of drying chestnuts for the production of dried chestnuts and chestnut flour, it is still possible to observe the presence of numerous dryers built around the XV-XVI century.
Traceability: at the level of checks for the attestation of origin (origin) of the PGI production, the proof of the origin of the "Castagna Cuneo" from the geographical production area delimited and certified by the inspection body referred to in the following art.7, on the basis of numerous fulfilments to which the producers undergo interested in the entire production cycle.
The fundamentals of these requirements, which ensure the traceability of the product, at every stage of the supply chain, consist of:
registration of plants suitable for the production of the I.G.P.Castagna Cuneo in a special register, activated, kept and updated by the authorized control body;
annotation of the quantities produced;
consequent certification by the control body of all the batches of packaged and labeled product before marketing for release for consumption.

Article 5
Obtaining method
The production system.
The environmental and cultivation conditions of the territory destined for the production of "Castagna Cuneo" must be the traditional ones and capable of conferring on the fruit the particular characteristics designated in this specification.
In particular, the chestnut groves are located at not too high altitudes (from 200 to 1000 m a.s.l.) in sunny and sheltered from the wind locations.
In them, in order to guarantee the optimal characteristics of the product, a careful cleaning of the undergrowth is carried out every year, by annual grass cutting and elimination of bushes, ferns and dead plants before harvesting.
Any administration of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is prohibited with the exception of what is allowed for organic farming (Community Reg. 2092/1991 and following).
Density of implantation.
In order to obtain the "Castagna Cuneo" I.G.P., the chestnut fruit trees located in the area which extend to all the municipalities referred to in art. 3 of the present disciplinary with an altitude between 200 and 1000 m a.s.l.
The density of plants in production cannot exceed 150 plants per hectare.
Land management.
Castagna Cuneo I.G.P. and cultivated in soils generally deriving from the decay of shales and granites, with sub-acid pH. It is a deep, drained soil rich in organic matter and without active limestone which give the fruit its particular organoleptic characteristics.
The soil must be kept clear of an excessive development of herbaceous and shrubby vegetation in order to allow a regular harvest of the fruits. For this purpose, the use of synthetic chemicals such as herbicides is prohibited.
Control of production.
The care provided to chestnut groves, the forms of cultivation, periodic and multi-year pruning systems, must be traditionally used in the territory and capable of not modifying the peculiar characteristics of the fruit.
In particular, periodic interventions of painting are allowed for the remediation of plants from parasitic attacks.
The collection can be done manually or with half-mechanics (harvesting machines) such as to safeguard the integrity of the product.
The harvest period begins in early September and ends in November.
The minimum size allowed, except for the product intended to be dried, is equal to 110 achenes per kilogram in fresh form.
Conservation and processing.
The sorting, calibration, treatment and preservation of the fruits must be carried out within the territory defined in art. 3 of this specification.
The preservation of the fresh product can be done by a hot water treatment according to the correct traditional technique used.
The use of the "cure" technique is allowed by immersing the fruit in water at room temperature for 7-9 days.
This technique allows to obtain a light milk fermentation which, blocking the development of pathogenic fungi, creates a practically sterile environment without the addition of additives.
Preservation by means of peeling and subsequent deep freezing is also permitted, according to the methods envisaged for the frozen products.
The Castagna Cuneo - Secca product must be obtained with the traditional slow fire drying technique and continued in dryers mainly consisting of brickwork premises. In small chestnuts they are placed on a grate (grilled) under which the hearth or heat exchanger is fed. The waste and by-products of wood processing chemically treated cannot be used. Through the drying process, the fruits acquire preservability and digestibility with a reduction of the water content from 50% to less than 10% and an increase in the
concentration of active ingredients and mineral elements. Dried stalks can be stored for a long time (over twelve months) without risk of alteration. The operation takes place in special dryers, represented by two-storey buildings with a square or rectangular plan. The lower floor acts as a boiler and the fire is fed with wood, chestnut peels or with forest waste products. Upstairs there is a wooden or metallic trellis on which chestnut layers are periodically placed (every 4-5 days when the 15 cm layer has dried) until it reaches a maximum height of 30-50 cm.
During drying, the fruits are repeatedly turned and the internal temperature is checked daily, so that it remains constant. When the operation is almost completed, the strips are covered with sheets and the fire is fed to achieve the final drying. The process lasts thirty days on average. Dried stalks are then peeled using techniques which can be manual or mechanical.
The packaging operation takes place under the control of the structure authorized by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies for control over the I.G.P. «Castagna diCuneo». This is in order to verify the origin and to check that the product and the way it is presented comply with the provisions of this production specification.

Article 6
Elements that prove the link with the territory The application for registration of the I.G.P. it is based on the undoubted reputation of this fruit which has found its natural habitat in the production area since ancient times. In fact, in the province of Cuneo the first references to the chestnut tree even date back to the end of the XII century, as evidenced in the correspondence of the Certosa di Pesio relating to the territorial acquisitions, in which it can be noted that between 1173 and 1277 a fifth of the cultivable land was represented precisely from the chestnut.
The production area of ​​the I.G.P. precisely in offering suitable conditions for the breeding of chestnuts, it has made possible the "tree-man" symbiosis; in fact, the chestnut groves competed in a modest way to compose important chapters of mountain history, demonstrating how the territory has a fundamental influence on the life of a people.
In the agricultural landscape of the province of Cuneo, at the beginning of the 18th century, the chestnut groves for the most part with a high trunk extended over vast areas. Ilcastagneto continued in the nineteenth century, as in previous centuries, to be at the center of the organization of peasant life by supplying small stakes for human and sometimes animal feeding, with the use of waste and the wood used in a thousand uses. In the past, the gathering of chestnuts was created as an operation that created a profound sense of disociality in mountain villages. The women were particularly involved in this operation, while the men dedicated themselves to transport and keying. Chestnut was one of the few possibilities for marketing the mountain; in autumn, in fact, alpine and Apennine villages descended the peasants with the sacchidelle chestnuts. In the province of Cuneo the meeting places were Garessio, Ormea, Ceva, Mondovi, San Michele, Borgo San Dalmazzo, Demonte, Dronero, Venasca, Paesana, Saluzzo, Barge. The most significant market was, however, that of Cuneo, which found its particular moment in the San Martino fair of 11 November, where the stalks were listed at the price of the most prestigious grapes. Cuneoera was already a very active market since 1500, and over the years it has become a market of European importance; in fact, internal and external marketing were always growing more and more thanks to a constant increase in the demand for Cuneo chestnuts. The fame of the I.G.P. not only does it stop at the European market, especially France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England, but it also finds great admirers in other countries, such as the United States and Argentina. In 1920 Malta and Egypt were even interested in purchasing this particular product. The United States still constitute an outlet for interest, Italy in fact represents 95% of that market, where consumption is made up of the population of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese origin. France also presents itself as an interesting market, especially for the canning industry; as well as England where 50% of the import of Italian chestnuts.
In addition, the numerous festivals and conferences organized to highlight the quality of the PGI, such as the "Chestnut Week" organized in Cuneo in which the best technicians and operators of the sector discuss the various problems related to this culture. Of major importance was the annual "Sagra del Marrone" of Chiusa di Pesio which was followed closely even by local newspapers, which never failed to publish precise accounts of this initiative; such was the success of this sagrache it was soon transferred to Cuneo, where the celebrations were done in style, with shows of all kinds, among which the exhibitions of chestnuts occupied a prominent place. In any case, the ancient and famous autumn festival remains the "Cold Fair of San Dalmazzo", the last one before the winter rigors, which with its 430 years of history has always represented the indisputable link existing between the area of ​​origin, the population and the chestnut.
The same large cookbook of Cuneo cuisine, where Cuneo chestnut is the undisputed queen, is the most obvious expression of the traditional nature of the presence of chestnut in the area of ​​origin. Alongside the consumption of the fresh product, chestnuts are used in numerous dishes, from the simplest of the traditional tradition to the most elaborate recipes. Next to the boiled or roasted chestnuts or the "mundaj", a symbol of celebration and cheerfulness during the vigils, there are "marron glace", the chocolate roll with chestnuts, or even the savory preparations, such as roast pork or roe deer with chestnuts.
This shows how deeply the bond between the Cuneo countryside and the territory of origin is strong.

Article 7
The control activity on the application of the provisions of this production specification is carried out by an authorized body, in accordance with the provisions of art. 10 of the EEC Reg. No. 2081/1992 of July 14, 1992.

Article 8.
Labeling and packaging
The marketing of "Castagna Cuneo" I.G.P at the statofresco, when released for consumption, can be carried out using the following packages:
sack packs in different materials weighing between 10.10 and 30 kg, of which the main ones are:
0.10-0.25-0.5-1-2.5-5-10-25-30 kg;
wooden or plastic boxes of dimensions 30x50 and 40x60;
jute bags weighing between 5 and 100 kg (5-10-25-30-50-100);
other packaging and packaging allowed by current legislation;
The marketing of the "Castagna Cuneo" I.G.P. - Seccaallatto of release for consumption can be carried out using the following packs:
sack packs of different materials weighing between 10.10 and 30 kg of which the main ones are:
0.10-0.25-0.5-1-2.5-5-10-25-30 kg;
other packaging allowed by current legislation.
The marketing of the semi-finished and finished product must take place in packaging suitable for food use, also following its inclusion in production cycles that enhance its quality.
In any case, it can be marketed only if pre-packaged or packaged upon sale.
On the label to be affixed on the packs or packaging, the protected geographical indication "Castagna Cuneo" must appear clear and indelible characters, clearly distinguishable from each other and must be immediately followed by the term "Protected geographical indication".
Specifically, the labels «CastagnaCuneo» or «Castagna Cuneo» - Secca must be indicated on the packaging of the same size immediately followed by the description «Protected geographical indication».
The name, company name and address of the packer as well as the gross weight at the origin must appear in the same field of vision.
The term "Protected Geographical Indication" can be repeated on the other part of the container or on the label also in the diachronic form "I.G.P".
It is permitted, in combination with the protected geographical indication, to use indications and / or graphic symbols that refer to corporate names or collective brands or individual company brands, provided they have no laudatory meaning or such mislead the buyer.
The description, representation and colorimetric indices of the logo, or the distinctive symbol of the protected geographical indication, are shown in the attachment to this specification.
The figurative elements that make up the brand represent the shape of a chestnut slightly inclined on the right side.
The left profile of the fruit is outlined by the word "chestnut", created with an exclusive calligraphic character while the right profile is given by a manual graphic sign that imitates a quick and decisive brush.
The brand is completed by a chestnut leaf placed at the base of the fruit and bearing, in white, the wording "Cuneo",
made in exclusive calligraphic font. On the bottom left, the inscription I.G.P. appears, made in "Frutiger light" font.
The assigned color is black (Pantone Process Black) for all the elements of the brand, except the leaf, whose color is brownish red (Pantone 166).

Article 9.
Processed products
The products for the preparation of which the Castagna Cuneo I.G.P. is used, even following processing and transformation processes, can be released for consumption in packaging bearing the reference to the said denomination without the addition of the Community logo, provided that:
the product with a protected designation, certified as such, constitutes the exclusive component of the product category of belonging;
users of the protected designation product are authorized by the owners of the intellectual property right conferred by the registration of the I.G.P. gathered in a Consortium in charge of protection by the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies. The same consortium in charge will also register them in special registers and supervise the correct use of the protected name.
In the absence of a designated consortium for protection, the aforementioned functions will be carried out by MIPAF as the national authority in charge of implementing the reg. (EEC) 2081/92.

Video: Italian Grandma Makes Minestrone Soup (July 2022).


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