A Taste of the Woods
Italy is one of the world’s largest producers of hazelnuts, rivalled only by Turkey. The Piedmontese hazelnut, however, is recognised as a special variety thanks to its distinctive flavour.
The Tonda Gentile Trilobata, so called because of its perfectly round shape, is amongst the world’s best hazelnuts not only because of its delicious taste but also because it is easy to peel and can be stored for long periods without losing its characteristics.
It grows in the hilly areas of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and is a protected I.G.P. (protected designation of origin) product, which means that the quality and the authenticity of the product are guaranteed.
Its popularity comes from the famous Gianduiotto, a chocolate and hazelnut praline invented in 1806 when cocoa had become very expensive due to import limitations imposed by Napoleon.
To reduce the amount of cocoa, chocolate makers tried to add ground hazelnut and the result was an amazing success.
Italian chocolate-maker Ferrero conquered Italy, and eventually the world, with its Nutella, an industrial version of Gianduia cream (a cocoa and hazelnut cream). Now a giant company, Ferrero doesn’t exclusively use the local crop anymore, as production is not high enough: they use about a quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply — more than 100,000 tons every year!
Today the “tonda gentile” is used for a series of high quality preparations including the aforementioned Gianduiotto pralines, Gianduia spread, Torrone, hazelnut cake and brut e bon biscuits, all delicious and very popular.
When toasted correctly, it tastes spectacular – if you get the chance, exalt its aromatic savour with a glass of rich, red wine or try to dip it in honey.
Last but not least, recent studies seem to demonstrate that, if eaten regularly, hazelnuts have a positive effect on human health. They can help maintain low “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood, and thanks to their high vitamin E content, they supply a significant quantity of antioxidant agents.
So, whether you enjoy it alone or in one of the various mouth-watering preparations make sure you try this gentle and healthy delicacy!Any suggestions?
You may also be interested in
© All rights reserved.