Local products22 October 2019

Piedmont Hazelnut I.G.P. or Tonda Gentile Trilobata

Just think, for example, of Gianduja, born from a mixture of cocoa and hazelnut from Langa.

Credit Facebook site

Credit Facebook site

The Gentile Trilobata hazelnut is a variety particularly rich in lipids consisting of 40% monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid (the same fatty acid present in extra virgin olive oil). Regular consumption of hazelnuts keeps the "bad cholesterol" at low levels in the blood, raising the level of the so-called "good cholesterol", thus protecting our cell membranes. Hazelnut is, after almond, the variety of dried fruit that contains the most important amount of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that fights the action of free radicals by slowing the aging of tissues.

Its characteristics are in fact unparalleled: its thin and hard shell, its round shape, its keepability, the ease with which it can be peeled, the intense aroma given off after roasting make it an irreplaceable ingredient in confectionery.

The denomination Nocciola Piemonte I.G.P. indicates the Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnut variety, grown significantly in the province of Cuneo, particularly in the Alta Langa, where the main crop is located. This hazelnut differs from all the others due to its structural characteristics.

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The history of its cultivation is closely linked to the confectionery industry and, in particular, to the discovery of Gianduja, a fine blend of cocoa and hazelnuts. The Turinese pastry chefs with the British industry, in fact, following the commercial blockade imposed by Napoleon, began to subtly replace part of the cocoa with the Tonda Gentile Delle Langhe Hazel, thus inventing a new mixture of cocoa and hazelnuts that soon spread and took the name of Gianduja, just like the popular Turin carnival mask.

For all these reasons the Piedmont Hazelnut I.G.P. is universally recognized as the best in the world, and, since 1993, the Piedmont Hazelnut Protection Consortium aims to promote and protect this precious raw material, at the service of pastry chefs, ice cream makers and all consumers.

Judit Neuberger

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