Among the best food traditions of Tuscany the October Chestnuts and Marroni festival of Mugello sticks out. In the Upper Mugello and precisely in Palazzuolo on the Senio and Marradi there are permanent feasts devoted to this precious forest fruit. The Marrone buono IGP from Mugello is a true excellence of the territory. You may be interested in this brief introductory video in English on how to cook chestnuts at home.
First and foremost, Marroni and chestnuts define different fruits. Contrary to what is commonly thought, the difference between marroni and chestnuts is not a matter of size.
Everything is based on the technological and taste characteristics of the fruit, not the fruit size. Here are some synthetic qualities of the marrone that is certainly the most prized:
• Light mahogany peel with dark colored streaks that match touch sensitive skin pads;
• Oval-enlarged or oval-elliptic;
• Thin easily removable skin covering a non-penetrating film in the seed pulp;
The marrone IGP Mugello is a completely natural product that does not involve the use of pesticides and fertilizers. It is certainly one of the best food traditions of Tuscany. In Marradi for hundreds of years, the chestnut has been subjected to a continuous selection. This activity has led to a unique homogeneous production in its kind in Italy and worldwide. Dishes that were cooked in the Mugello lowland valley with wheat flour and corn were prepared in Marradi with chestnut flour.
The same “pattona” (sweet flour polenta) was cooked every 10-15 days. It was consumed in slices like bread, alone, with milk, ricotta or raveggiolo, grilled and/or fried. For this reason, the chestnut tree was called “the tree of bread”.
These food traditions of Tuscany is revisited every year in October, with the Chestnut Festival. The festival offers tastes of various marroni-based specialties at the various stands. The roasted chestnuts are called “bruciate” in most of Tuscany. Other delicatessen include marroni pudding, chestnuts, marroni and cottage cheese tarts, the tronco, donoughts and sweet flour fritters, chocolate marroni, marron glacés etc.
The most representative and most popular dessert in the chestnut festival is the Marroni Cake.
Growers of the area offer the possibility to buy directly the chestnuts and marroni picked and selected by them. The visitor in his own kitchen can personally try duplicating the tasty fried tortellini with marroni puree filling.
Every Sunday in October there is a train that arrives from Florence to Borgo San Lorenzo and then continues to Marradi. If you are in the area, do not miss the Marradi chestnut festival. Do not hesitate to contact us to know more about the month of chestnuts in Mugello. Finally we propose a video of the comeback of the chestnut in the USA which according to recent estimates is set to become a major producer in the next decade