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Umbria Chestnut harvest

Listed under Harvests & Food Festivals in Central Italy, Italy.

  • Photo of Umbria Chestnut harvest
  • Photo of Umbria Chestnut harvest
  • Photo of Umbria Chestnut harvest
Photo of Umbria Chestnut harvest
Photo by flickr user lavilleautady
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Two million acres of chestnut trees spread across Italy's countryside and produce 80,000 tons of nuts each year. Traditionally, from Roman times until about the 1950s, chestnuts were what made the flour used in pasta, desserts, and bread. The whole chestnut tree was used in some way, too, not just the nuts. The wood helped build homes, and tannin taken from the bark was used in tanning hides. The chestnut tree was integral to their whole way of life.

The nuts have become more of a treat now than a way of cooking nowadays, but their harvests are still celebrated, and locals naturally continue to eat them - fresh, preserved or dried. Throughout October the locals preserve their tradition by celebrating the chestnut harvest. Festivities are concentrated in chestnut tree areas like Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Calabria and large sections of the Alps and Apennines, and during the third week in October, the Sagra delle Castagne takes place in Preggio. At this festival, locals prepare home specialties such as chestnut tarts and offer endless recipes to enjoy your chestnuts with as well as tours through the groves.

 

Written by  Allison Hansen.

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