Monday, 27 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE LIGURIAN RIVIERA: CASTAGNACCIO (CHESTNUT FLOUR SWEET TART)

For centuries chestnuts had played the lead role in Liguria’s history of nutrition – and economy. Trees provided first-rate wood, and fruits granted a handful of calories to the inhabitants of the mountainous entroterra.
These days, chestnuts are the protagonists of niche gourmet treats such as castagnaccio, a traditional thin (less than 2 cm) chestnut flour sweet tart that occasionally features the bounty of pine nuts, raisins, walnuts, candied orange peels and rosemary. Castagnaccio is a trans regional asset: names (and variants) abound throughout Liguria - “castagnaccina” in Calice al Cornoviglio (SP), “pattunna” in the Val Fontanabuona, not to forget the addition of ricotta cheese in Levanto (SP) - , Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. Wine pairing: enjoy a slice of castagnaccio with a cup of DOC Golfo del Tigullio moscato.

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

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