Typical Italian products: Castagna di Montella PGI

Typical Italian products: Castagna di Montella PGI

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History and production area

The evidence of the presence of chestnut in the cultivation area of ​​the "Castagna di Montella" PGI are very ancient. According to some, in fact, in this area the cultivation of chestnut, originating in Asia Minor, dates back to a period between the sixth and fifth centuries BC.
The Lombards (571 AD), subsequently, would have issued the first law, which can be remembered, for the protection of this cultivation, already considered at that time a precious resource. Just think, in fact, of the importance that chestnut flour assumed in the Middle Ages, especially in the sieges of cities and castles, for the advantage of being able to keep it for a long time.
From those times the history of Montella and that of the chestnut, true wealth of these areas for its multiplicity of uses, have never separated.
The "Castagna di Montella" is part of the landscape of the Terminio-Cervialto area, where, thanks to its climate and its land, it produces a fruit of high commodity and organoleptic quality. The richness of chestnut in these areas was not limited only to the production of the fruit: it was the main source of wood for construction, to create furniture, as well as as firewood.
The "Castagna di Montella" arrived, in the nineteenth century, also in the United States and Canada, following the emigrants, and even today these two states absorb more than half of the production.
The production area of ​​the "Castagna di Montella" PGI is concentrated in the Terminio-Cervialto area and limited in particular to the territories of the municipalities of Montella, Bagnoli Irpino, Cassano Irpino, Nusco, Volturara Irpina and Montemarano (Bolifano district).


The protected geographical indication "Castagna di Montella" refers to chestnuts 90% of which are produced from the Palummina variety and the remaining 10% from the Verdole variety. The distinctive features of the "Castagna di Montella" PGI are represented by a medium or medium-small size (75-90 fruits per Kg) and the rounded shape of the fruit, with a flat bottom face, convex base and obtuse top, medium hairy. The seed has a white, crunchy pulp and a pleasant sweet taste. The peel (pericarp) is thin and deep brown in color, easily detachable. Just the shape of the fruit justifies the etymology of the name of the Palommina variety, a shape that recalls the similarity of a dove which in dialect translates precisely to "palomma". Thanks to the high characteristics of fragrance, flavor and shelf life, the "Castagna di Montella" PGI is used in the fresh state (also including frozen) and in the dry state in its shell or without. From a nutritional dietary point of view, "Montella Chestnut" is particularly relevant for its carbohydrate content, while the protein content is scarce. In addition to roasted chestnuts, Montella chestnuts are particularly requested by the processing industry for the use of marron glacés, jams, au naturel, puree. Excellent for garnishing meats and soups, but their use is enhanced especially in the preparation of different types of desserts.

Chestnut of Montella PGI

Production specification - Castagna di Montella PGI

Article 1
The Protected Geographical Indication1 "Chestnut of Montella" is reserved for the fruits which correspond to the conditions and requirements established in this production specification.

Article 2
The "Castagna di Montella" is produced in the province of Avellino in the entire district of the municipalities of Montella, Bagnoli Irpino, Cassano Irpino, Nusco, Volturara Irpina and for the municipality of Montemarano, limited to the Bolifano district which is identified in the area limited by state road 7 and precisely the one located south of the road itself.

Article 3
At least 90% of "Castagna di Montella" derives from the "Palummina" variety and, for the remaining 10% at most, from other varieties and in particular from "Verdola".
The "Castagna di Montella" corresponds to the following characteristics:
- size: medium or medium-small (75-90 / Kg);
- shape: mainly rounded, with flat bottom face, bas-convex, obtuse top, medium hairy;
- torch: of limited length;
- hilar scar: elliptical in shape;
- pericarp: thin, light brown in color, easily detached from the episperm which, in turn, easily separates from the seed;
- seed: white pulp, crisp and with a pleasant sweet taste.

Article 4
The environmental and cultivation conditions of the fruit chestnut trees destined for the production of "Castagna di Montella" must be the traditional ones of the area and in any case suitable for giving the product its specific quality characteristics. Fruit chestnut groves located between 500 and 1,000 meters above sea level on suitable land and exposure are therefore considered suitable.
The planting layouts, the forms of farming and the pruning and harvesting systems must be those generally used or in any case suitable for not changing the characteristics of the fruit.
Any forcing practice is prohibited.
The maximum yield of fruits allowed for the production of "Castagna di Montella" is established in Kg. 25 per plant and in quintals 30 per hectare. The number of plants per hectare from a minimum of 80 to a maximum of 160.
Even in exceptional favorable years, the yield per plant and per hectare of chestnuts that use the denomination of controlled origin must be reported to the above productivity limits through a careful sorting of the fruits that ensures the product meets the quality requirements of art. 3.

Article 5
The sorting, calibration and treatment of the product with "care" and "disinfestation", respectively in cold and hot water, according to the techniques already acquired locally, can be carried out on the whole territory of the province of Avellino.
For marketing purposes, the product can be stored, for sale, in suitable premises.
The fresh product can be released for consumption starting on October 4 of the production year.

Article 6
The "Castagna di Montella" in its fresh state, when released for consumption, must meet the following characteristics:
fresh product selected and calibrated in different sizes as required by the ministerial decree 10 July 1939, containing special technical standards for the export of chestnuts. The rules in question apply both for the marketing of the product within the EEC countries and for export to third countries;
product packed in jute bags, in nets or plastic or other suitable material, bearing the protected geographical indication1 "Chestnut of Montella", the data relating to the size, weight, year of production as well as the expiry date for consumption. Vacuum packs are also allowed.

Article 7
The "Castagna di Montella" can also be marketed in the dry state: shell, whole shelled or flour.
The product must meet the following characteristics:
obtained by drying on metati or racks and on a slow and continuous fire powered exclusively by bundles and wood of any essence, according to traditional local techniques already acquired by producers;
humidity contained in whole or floured fruits not higher than 15%;
immune to parasitic attacks of any nature (insect larvae, mold, etc.);
the yield of dried chestnuts with shell relative to 1 quintile cannot exceed 60%;
shelled dried chestnuts must be whole, healthy, straw-white in color with no more than 10% of defects (traces of bacon, deformations, etc.).
Dried chestnuts in shell, shelled whole or powdered must be marketed in containers of material suitable for the conservation required by law. The packages can be of variable weight in relation to the market requests and must bear the protected geographical indication1 "Castagna di Montella".
For the dry product in shell, it is optional to proceed with the calibration for the sale in order to obtain better sizes.
For the purposes of marketing and exporting the dry product, the rules set out in the aforementioned ministerial decree of 10 July 1939 apply.

Article 8.
The addition of any qualification other than that provided for in this specification is forbidden to the protected geographical indication1 "Castagna di Montella", including the adjectives "extra", "superior", "fine", "chosen", "selected" and similar.
The use of indications that refer to names, social reasons and private brands which are not laudatory and not capable of misleading the consumer is permitted.
The use of both geographical and toponymic indications that refer to municipalities, hamlets, areas, areas and localities and companies included in the territories of the municipalities referred to in art.2 and from which the chestnuts with the protected geographical indication actually come.

Video: Bagnoli Irpino Avellino - Borghi dItalia Tv2000 (August 2022).