Hunting for chestnuts
Here also the chestnuts make their rightful entry into the imported things of the Tuscan Autumn.
The Chestnut is a fruit, and even if in front of the word fruit only one colorful and juicy thing comes to mind, the Chestnut is a fruit to all intents and purposes, it is the fruit of the Chestnut tree, unlike the Chestnut of the Horse Chestnut which instead is a seed.
There are many varieties of chestnuts, but Tuscany boasts the PGI brand for Marrone del Mugello, which are large and crunchy with white flesh and a very sweet flavour.
They are located in Mugello, but are spread throughout the Falterona area, the Dicomano side to understand each other and not just the Casentino side.
A town in that area takes its name from this fruit, Castagno d’Andrea about 7 km from the municipality of San Godenzo, a town at about 700 meters above sea level.
Here, the search for chestnuts is an activity to do in this period, just think that in Marradi, a small town in the Mugello there is the Chestnut Festival every Sunday in October, which now has a history of over fifty years .
It must also be said that the chestnut harvest is an important economic resource for many inhabitants of the upper Mugello areas and therefore before venturing at random into privately owned fields, it is best to contact a local tourist office to be told where, how and when to show up to pick this delicious fruit without running into some furious farmer.
Once the fruits have been harvested and we have returned home with our beautiful chestnuts, we just have to create the most famous Tuscan recipes.
The first Tuscan recipe, which is also the most famous, takes the name of “Ballotte”, that is, taking the chestnuts and boiling them in their skins.
This is an ancient recipe, poor but typical of the Tuscan peasants who used it in the autumn moments to warm up and to fight the pangs of hunger that were often only fought with chestnuts.
Then there is the castagnaccio, a typical sweet, made with chestnut flour, rosemary and pine nuts, or an easy recipe is what in Florence is called making the “roasted chestnuts” that is, take the chestnut, carve the in the oven (or in a special pan with holes) and as soon as they are roasted they are ready, put them in a cloth to keep them hot, and peeling them away they are eaten, sipping a good red wine. This is Tuscan pleasure!
In short, Tuscany also offers beautiful nature in autumn, sometimes uncontaminated with festivals and traditions that still tell us about a land full of desire to keep its typical flavours, tastes and smells unaltered.
Autumn takes away the hot summer but takes us on a beautiful journey through strong colors and unique sunsets that we can only admire in this period.
Tuscany in this period is beautiful and if you really have to choose a moment to relax and really enjoy this land, this is that moment.
We are waiting for you.