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Italian PGI and PDO chestnuts: the varieties, and ideas for cooking them


There are 12 types of Italian chestnuts and marroni with the DOP or IGP mark. Let’s find out some varieties and some ideas for using these splendid fruits in the kitchen.

Italian chestnuts are a fruit present throughout the territory, divided into different types with different shapes and flavors. They are a product used to prepare many recipes, from soups to numerous sweets and desserts, such as maron glacés , Montblanc cakes and homemade chestnut jams.

And to think that this fruit was once considered a food for humble and poor people ! Today, however, Italian chestnuts are one of the excellent products of our territory. In fact, 12 varieties have obtained the PGI or PDO male: Marrone della Val di Susa PGI, Marrone di Combai PGI, Marrone del Monfenera PGI, Marrone di Castel de Rio PGI, Marrone del Mugello PGI, Marrone di Roccadaspide IGP, Chestnut of Cuneo IGP, Marrone, Bastarda Rossa and Cecio del Monte Amiata IGP, Chestnut of Montella IGP, Marrone di San Zeno DOP, Marrone di Caprese Michelangelo DOP, Chestnut of Vallerano DOP.

Let’s find out some features together and see how to use these typical autumn fruits in the kitchen!

Types of chestnuts: the best known qualities

Among the qualities that we have previously listed there are some that just cannot go unnoticed due to their characteristics. For this reason it seemed right to dedicate a few lines to describe in detail these excellences of the beautiful country.


Chestnut of Cuneo IGP

This Piedmontese chestnut is grown in the province of Cuneo, in one of the most important areas of Italy as regards culture and culinary tradition . Rather round in shape, this medium sized chestnut has a light brown skin. Even today, chestnuts from Cuneo are sold both fresh and dried, a widespread custom since the fifteenth century and which takes place in the so-called drying rooms.

Chestnut of Montella IGP

Among the IGP products, Montella chestnuts are some of the best known fruits both in Italy and abroad. The shape is round, with a hollow base, and the color is close to a deep, dark brown. The pulp inside is white, crunchy and very sweet, and in fact it is one of the most suitable chestnuts for preparing various types of creams and desserts, with an aroma that recalls that of caramel and sugar.

Vallerano chestnut PDO

This chestnut, which received the PDO mark in 2009, is grown near Viterbo and has a rather thin outer skin, which can be detached even when the fruit is raw. The Vallerano Dop chestnut has a sweet taste and a crunchy texture , while as regards the color, it shows an elegant light and shiny brown.

Some ideas and recipes with Italian chestnuts

Chestnuts can really be used in many ways in the kitchen: with this product you can really unleash your imagination! In addition, in fact, to be able to make creams, homemade parfaits and jams, you can also use this wonderful product in first or second courses. Try chestnuts in risotto, paired with a particular cheese or wine.

And if you are looking for a typical autumn recipe , we recommend the chestnut and chickpea soup: all you have to do is cook the two main ingredients of the dish and make a soup with tomato sauce, rosemary, shallot and spices!

Cooked chestnuts
Cooked chestnuts

Baked or microwave chestnuts

If you are looking for some quick and easy ideas, let’s see how to cook chestnuts in the microwave , a practical way to enjoy them with friends or family. After cutting them, soak your chestnuts in cold water and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.

Once done, all you have to do is cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes at a temperature of 750 W. Or, alternatively, you can also try them in the oven, although the cooking time of the chestnuts will be longer: set it to 220 ° and let them cook. for about 25 minutes. The result is guaranteed !

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