PIEDMONT

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Presidia Slow Food In Italy

 

PIEDMONT

 

Caprauna Turnip

 

Caprauna is a small village in the Upper Tanaro Valley with a few hundred inhabitants and excellent

turnips: large, very sweet and with unusual pale-yellow flesh. In the past turnips were an important

element of the local diet in the Piedmontese Alps, but were later replaced by the potato. This turnip does

not keep well once harvested; it is best left underground until ripe in the fall and winter months.

The Presidium hopes to protect its cultivation in an area currently at risk of depopulation.

Production area: Municipalities of Caprauna and Alto, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: Upper Tanaro Valley Mountain Community

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Capriglio Pepper

 

This pepper has been grown for over 100 years in the small hilly area of Capriglio d’Asti, between Asti

and Turin. Until the 1960s there was significant demand for the product in Chieri, Asti, and Turin and it

even commanded prices up to double that of other varieties. Then, with the introduction of new, largersized

varieties, the product was only grown for family consumption and a few connoisseurs. The plant is

hardy and not very tall; the pepper is of medium to small size, with three ribs and a slightly triangular or

heart-shaped cross-section. With the creation of the Presidium, the producers have formed an association,

use traditional cultivation methods and follow organic principles. They have reduced environmental impact

and are keen to reintroduce this delicious vegetable to the local market.

Production Area: municipality of Capriglio d’Asti (province of Asti)

Presidium supported by: Marcopolo Environmental Group

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Carmagnola Gray Rabbit

 

The Carmagnola gray rabbit is the only native Piedmontese rabbit breed still in existence. Although it was

quite popular up to the end of the 1950s, later it practically disappeared until the recent genetic recovery

work done by the University of Turin. The rabbit’s medium size, long body and muscular haunches make

for a good yield of meat. Its bone structure is very fine with a muscle mass superior to that of other

breeds. The meat is whitish in color, fine, tender

and flavorful.

Production area: Municipality of Carmagnola and surroundings, Province of Turin

Presidium supported by: Piedmontese Blonde Hen, Saluzzo White Hen and Carmagnola Gray Rabbit

Consortium

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Carmagnola Ox-Horn Pepper

 

This pepper comes in splendid colors ranging from intense yellow to bright red. Its curious long and

tapered shape (over 20 centimeters long) has three or four lobes. Reminiscent of the Spagnolìn, the first

oblong pepper to arrive from the Americas, the Carmagnola ox-horn pepper has a sweet flavor and a

thick, fleshy pulp, which improves when conserved. The pepper can be eaten raw, roasted or grilled,

bagnà ‘nt l’euil (with extra-virgin olive oil) or with bagna cauda.

Production area: Municipality of Carmagnola and surroundings, Province of Turin

Presidium supported by: Province of Turin

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Coazze Cevrin

 

Some call it Toma, some call it Robiola, but in local dialect its name is Cevrin. This round cheese,

produced from a mix of cow’s and goat’s milk, has a thickly ridged, moist rind, deep amber-yellow in

color. Though the paste of the cheese near the rind is a pale yellow, the interior is pure white. Aged

Cevrin has an intense and long-lasting flavor. The primary aromas are musky, with notes of dry wood and

freshly cut grass. The cheese has a long-lasting flavor of hazelnut, butter and, at times, a lingering

spiciness.

Production area: Coazze and Giaveno, Sangone Valley, Province of Turin

Presidium supported by: Province of Turin

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Cortereggio Canavese Piattella Bean

 

The Piattella is a large white bean with thin skin and characteristic flattened kidney shape. It is traditionally

sown together with corn, and as the two plants grow the bean is supported by twisting round the corn’s

robust stalks. The Piattella was still widely grown in the area in the 1980s, where it was also known as the

San Giorgio Canavese Piattella after the region’s main municipality. However, it was more commonly

called the fasol at cutres across the Canavese area: simply the Cortereggio bean. The Presidium aims to

revive and promote the tradition of growing this bean, extending collaboration with local growers and

working with other local bodies to boost the tourism and food and wine potential of this part of the

Canavese.

Production Area:

Municipality of San Giorgio Canavese, in particular the area around Cortereggio (Province of Turin).

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Garbagna Bella Cherry

 

The Garbagna Bella cherry was almost completely abandoned over the last two decades because of its

poor resistance to humidity. It is the classic ciresa (Piedmontese for “cherry”) for preserving whole in

spirits. Sweet and crisp, it keeps its shape, texture and flavor well in alcohol. The cherries are also

excellent as fillings for Boeri chocolates, in jams, as a base for liqueurs or with cinnamon and cloves as an

unusual but delicious accompaniment to serve with meat.

Production area: Municipality of Garbagna, Grue Valley, Province of Alessandria

Presidium supported by: Curone, Grue and Ossona Valleys Mountain Community, Municipality of

Garbagna

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Gavi Testa in Cassetta

 

Testa in Cassetta is a typical cured meat made in the winter from pig’s head, tongue, lean meat and beef

heart. These are boiled together, then the head is finely chopped several times until it becomes a paste

while the other meat is diced. These are then mixed with salt, spices and chili pepper as well as pine nuts

and rum before being stuffed into a cow’s intestine and left to rest for a day in a very cold place.

Production area: Municipality of Gavi, Province of Alessandria

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Heritage Piedmontese Apple Varieties

 

At the start of the last century, thousands of apple varieties were still being cultivated in Piedmont. Since

then the development of industrial agriculture has made a cruel selection, with the market preferring

foreign apple varieties – bigger, prettier and better adapted to modern cultivation techniques. This

Presidium is working to save varieties such as Grigia di Torriana, Buras, Runsè, Magnana, Dominici, Carla

and Calvilla, all delicious, aromatic and hardy varieties that can have a future, even on today’s market.

Production area: Municipalities of Bibiana, Pinerolo, Cavour, Bricherasio and Osasco, Province of Turin;

Municipalities of Verzuolo, Piasco and Caraglio, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: Province of Turin, Pellice Valley Mountain Community

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Langhe Sheep Tuma

 

In 1950, there were over 45,000 native Langhe breed sheep, but today there are fewer than 2,500,

distributed among a few farms in the Langhe Cuneesi. This Presidium was founded to save the breed and

the traditional cheese made for centuries in the local area, called tuma d’fé

in local dialect. The small round cheeses, made with raw milk, are consumed fresh after 10-15 days, but

traditionally were also preserved in glass jars to be eaten through the winter.

Production area: Alta Langa, Province of Cuneo

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Macagn

 

Macagn takes its name from one of the foothills of Monte Rosa. Smaller than a Piedmontese Toma, it is a

typical mountain cheese made from whole raw cow’s milk. The cheese has a compact and slightly stretchy

paste with a few small holes. It is straw-white in color when young, and tends towards golden-yellow with

aging. Produced twice a day in the summer, Macagn has a distinctive fragrance, recalling the scents of

pasture and flowers.

Production area: central and eastern Biellese Prealps, Province of Biella; Valsesia, Province of Vercelli

Presidium supported by: Mosso Valley Mountain Community, Valsessera Mountain Community, Cervo la

Bürsch Valley Mountain Community, Valsesia Mountain Community, Association for the Protection of Valli

Biellesi and Valsesia Macagn Cheese, Fondazione Cassa Risparmio di Biella, Piedmont Regional Authority

For information on excursions or tours for this Presidia  info@bluerental.it

 

Mondovì Cornmeal Biscuits

 

Presidium cornmeal biscuits (paste di meliga) are made according to tradition using a mixture of wheat

flour and cornmeal, butter, fresh eggs and sugar. The dough is kneaded into round, oblong or crescent

shapes. Yellow and crunchy, these biscuits melt in the mouth without being greasy or cloying, leaving a

lingering toasted flavor. The stone-ground corn gives the biscuits a pleasant graininess.

Production area: Monregalese Municipalities, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: Consortium for the Protection and Promotion of Monregalese Cornmeal Biscuits

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Montébore

 

Montébore is produced in and around a town of the same name near Tortona. Documentation of this

cheese dates as far back as the 15th century. Its shape is reminiscent of a tiny wedding cake, with tiers of

decreasing size, one atop the other. Legend has it that the shape was modeled on an ancient tower in the

town of Montébore. The cheese is made from raw milk, 75% cow and 25% sheep. It has a strong milky

and buttery flavor with lingering notes of chestnut and herbs and can be eaten fresh, slightly aged or

grated.

Production area: Municipalities in the Curone and Borbera valleys, Province of Alessandria

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Bronda Valley Ramassin

 

Whether it is called ramassin, dalmasin or darmasin, many people in Piedmont are familiar with this small,

dark and very sweet plum. However it is relatively unknown in other regions of Italy. In July, when the

delicate fruits are ripe, they fall into the nets and are hand-picked. Ramassin are cultivated in other fruitgrowing

areas of Piedmont, but the best plums come from the Bronda Valley, a few kilometers from

Saluzzo, thanks to its special microclimate and hilly terrain.

Production area: Bronda and Po valleys, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: Ortofruit Italia, Municipalities of Castellar, Pagno and Brondello

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Morozzo Capon

 

In Morozzo, capons (castrated roosters) are traditionally of the Piedmontese Blonde breed, and when

they are mature they have a long black metallic tail and glossy brick-red feathers trimmed with blue or

green. They can be recognized by their lack of crest and wattle. Women are in charge of preparing the

capons since the operation requires deft, skilled hands. The Morozzo capon has soft, tender and delicate

meat. Purists prefer it boiled and dipped in salt, although it is also used in savory pies or stuffed.

Production area: Municipality of Morozzo and surrounding areas, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: Municipality of Morozzo, Consortium for the Promotion of Morozzo Capon and

Other Traditional Fowls

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Mountain Castelmagno

 

In 1277, the herders of Castelmagno paid the rent for their pastures to the Marquis of Saluzzo in cheese.

Today, the Castelmagno found on the market is made primarily in dairies, but there are still several

farmers who produce it in the mountains according to traditional methods. The complex and ancient

technique calls for the curd to be broken into large walnut-sized lumps which are then tied up in a cloth

and left to hang before being cut again into cubes, crumbled into fine pieces, mixed with coarse salt and

put into molds.

Production area: Municipality of Castelmagno, Province of Cuneo

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Nizza Monferrato Hunchback Cardoon

 

Cultivated in the sandy soil along the Belbo River, these cardoons are trained into a unique “hunchback”

shape. Once the plants are tall and vigorous, the cardaroli, or cardoon growers, bend the plants over

and cover them with soil. As they seek to find sunlight, the plants swell and curve and the stems lose all

their chlorophyll, becoming white and tender. The Nizza Monferrato hunchback cardoon is the only

cardoon that can be eaten raw, and is an classic accompaniment to one of Piedmont’s greatest dishes,

bagna cauda, a warm sauce of olive oil, garlic and anchovies.

Production area: Nizza Monferrato and surroundings, Province of Asti

Presidium supported by: Asti Provincial Authority, Municipality of Nizza Monferrato, Nizza Monferrato

Regional Enoteca

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Orbassano Red Celery

 

The story of red celery begins with the introduction of a purple celery from France in the 17th century

which gradually acclimatized to the environment in market gardens near Turin. With its distinctive red

base and almond flavor, it was a common product at vegetable markets in Turin and nearby until after

Second World War. It was then abandoned and risked disappearing due to its demanding cultivation

requirements and lower profitability compared to other varieties. Now only a few growers in the area

between Stupinigi and Orbassano continue to produce it, and sell at the farm or local markets. They also

organize a special event on the third Sunday of October.

Production Area: municipality of Orbassano (province of Torino)

Presidium supported by: Municipality of Orbassano, Centro Commerciale Naturale of Orbassano

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Piedmontese Blonde Hen and Saluzzo White Hen

 

The Piedmontese blonde hen has golden-tan plumage, a tall black tail with metallic highlights, a yellow

beak and a well-developed crest. The Saluzzo white is similar but with white plumage. Presidium breeders

adhere to a strict protocol that specifies natural feed and space outdoors for each bird. In Piedmontese

osterias, chicken is traditionally cooked alla cacciatora with onions and chopped tomatoes. The meat is

also excellent boiled in its own stock, in aspic or in a salad.

Production area: Areas of the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Turin

Presidium supported by: Piedmontese Blonde Hen, Saluzzo White Hen and Carmagnola Gray Rabbit

Consortium

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Piedmontese Cattle

 

Like all heritage breed oxen with white coats, this is a very ancient breed. It was only in 1886, however, that

spontaneous variation led to the birth of a bull with huge haunches and extremely muscular thighs. This was the

progenitor of the Piedmontese vitello della coscia, “veal of the thigh.” At the start of the 20th century, there

were still 680,000 animals, but today that number has been halved. Piedmontese beef is unique as it has a

perfect amount of intramuscular fat to make it lean but still flavorful. Traditionally the beef is chopped by hand

and eaten raw, seasoned only with extra-virgin olive oil, salt

and a pinch of pepper.

Production area: Province of Cuneo

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Ceresole Tench

 

A relative of the carp, barbel, chub and bleak, this tench has a rounded back and golden skin, hence the

name gobba dorata, or “golden humped.” It has long been raised in the ponds of Pianalto di Poirino, where

man-made lakes have existed since the 13th century. Soft and flavorful without the earthy flavor often typical

of poor-quality farmed fish, the Presidium tench is an important ingredient in the typical cuisine of the Roero.

It is classically prepared in carpione (fried, then marinated in vinegar).

Production area: Municipality of Ceresole d'Alba, province of Cuneo

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Roccaverano Robiola

 

Roccaverano cheese, made in the steep, fallow Langa Astigiana hills, is Italy’s only historic DOP goat’s

cheese. The Presidium cheese is made exclusively from raw goat’s milk. Each Robiola has its own unique

flavor: flowers, herbs and pasture microflora give each cheese a distinct personality. The cheese will

typically have aromas of yogurt, fresh grass and hazelnut, a flavor enriched by spicy, mossy nuances and

a long aftertaste.

Production area: Langa Astigiana, Province of Asti

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Sambucano Lamb

 

In 1985, there were barely 80 Sambucano sheep left in Piedmont’s Stura Valley. The L’Escaroun

consortium and the Lou Barmaset farming cooperative have since created a renaissance for the local

breed, and today there are around 4,000 head of sheep, raised by dozens of small-scale farmers. The

sheep live on small farms and in the summer they are taken to graze on the valley’s Alpine meadows,

sometimes at altitudes as high as 2,000 meters above sea level. The medium-large breed has straw-white

wool, though some rare examples have a black pelt and a small star-shaped mark on their head. The

breed is particularly prized for its meat. Traditionally eaten in the Valle Stura is the tardoun, a large lamb

of around six months that has been pastured in the mountains.

Production area: Upper Stura Valley, Province of Cuneo

Presidium supported by: “L’Escaroun” Sambucano Lamb Consortium

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Saras del Fen

 

Saras means ricotta in local dialect. Ricotta is a soft dairy product made from whey, the liquid that

remains in the vat after the solid curd has been removed from milk for cheese production. The tradition of

wrapping this cheese in hay (or fen, in Piedmontese) came from the need to transport it down from the

pastures of the Pellice Valley. This cheese boasts a grassy, milky perfume that strengthens with age. Saras

del Fen is rich and smooth on the palate.

Production area: entire Pellice Valley Mountain Community, Chisone and Germanasca Mountain

Communities and the Pinerolese Pedemontano Mountain Community above altitudes of 1,000 meters

(Province of Turin)

Presidium supported by: Turin Provincial Authority, Pellice Valley Mountain Community

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Tortona Strawberry

 

References to the Tortona strawberry can be found in texts from the 16th century, but it was around a

century ago that careful selection of wild species from the surrounding hills led to the creation of a

particularly excellent, highly perfumed cultivar, markedly different from other existing strawberries. Not

much bigger than a raspberry, it offers a heady fragrance and a sweet, delicate flavor. The berry is only

available for about 20 days between mid-May and mid-June, depending on the year. In Tortona, the

strawberries are eaten whole, sprinkled with sugar and a good Barbera wine.

Production area: Municipality of Tortona, Province of Alessandria

Presidium supported by: Municipality

of Tortona, Tortona Strawberry Consortium

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Tortona Valleys Salame

 

Pig farming is an integral part of the history and rural culture of the Curone, Grue and Ossona valleys,

situated near Tortona where Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria meet Piedmont. The classic repertoire

of Italian cured pork products is made here, but the foremost specialty of the area is an uncooked salami,

made by many small-scale artisanal producers and aged naturally in the hills’ particularly favorable

microclimate, which means very little salt is needed to cure the meat.

Production area: Tortona Valleys,

Province of Alessandria

Presidium supported by: Terre del Giarolo Mountain Community

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Valli Valdesi Mustardela

 

Like all sanguinacci, blood sausages, Mustardela was originally a way to use all the parts of the pig

including the head, neck, tongue and rind. The meat is boiled, deboned and ground, then mixed with

scraps of pork fat and minced onions and leeks sautéed in the fat. Blood is the final ingredient. Eggplantpurple,

Mustardela is smooth and soft in the mouth with a spiced, slightly sweet-and-sour flavor. It is eaten

boiled, accompanied by potatoes or polenta.

Production area: Pellice, Chisone and Germanasca valleys, Province of Turin

Presidium supported by: Province of Turin, Pellice Valley Mountain Community

For information on excursions or tours for this Presidia  info@bluerental.it

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