The Piedmont Hazelnut» refers to the shelled fruit, unshelled or semi-processed hazelnut of the «Tonda Gentile Trilobata » variety and has a very refined and persistent taste and crispy flesh.
The merit for having introduced and diffused the nut systems in the Highlands of the Langhe area goes to Hon. Prof. Emanuele Férraris, who succeeded in demonstrating the greater productivity and greater resistance of the plant to parasite attacks compared to those in the vineyards. In the 1900s a strong cultivation expansion came about precisely with regard to the growing demand on the part of the confectionery industry, with the discovery of the gianduja (a blend of cocoa and hazelnut).
The environmental conditions of the production zones are decisive in determining the organoleptic characteristics of the product since the nuts are mostly grown on the hills and foothills of Piedmont and mountain zones with scarcely fertile soil and highly continental climates.
The production area of Piedmont Hazelnut comprises the territories of several municipalities in the Provinces of Alessandria, Asti Cuneo, Turin, Novara, Biella and Vercelli.
- nut: darker than the shell covered with fibres, wrinkled surface and more or less evident furrows
- medium thickness, medium-intense nut color, not too shiny shell, with diffused wrinkles at the tip and numerous but not evident streaks
- average thickness, but highly detachable when roasted
- with variable shapes: almost round, tetrahedral shape and at times oval
- nut: almost perfectly round or partially rounded three-lobed
- not very uniform, sizing mainly from 17 mm to 21 mm
- compact and crisp
- 6.10 g
- 64.10 g
- 13.80 g
Sensory and organoleptic characteristics
- Aroma and Taste:
- very refined and persistent
How it is made
The environmental conditions for hazelnut crops producing the «Piedmont Hazelnut» or «Nocciola Piemonte» varieties, the cultivation methods and pruning and harvesting practices also concerning their conservation, have to be the traditional techniques of the region and that confer the products with a specific quality and characteristics, and consist in: the laying out of the cultivation procedures for the cultivation of shrubs and/or "single trunk" species. The density must range between 200 and 500 plants per heactare (except for the plotting systems created before1996 which are allowed a maximum density of 650 plants per hectare).
The maximum unitary production allowed for the «Piedmont Hazelnut» or «Nocciola Piemonte» is set at 3,500 kg/ha of specialized crops. The harvest is done when the fruits have completely matured, when they detach spontaneously and fall to the ground, and is done at various stages to avoid the deterioration and ensure the quality of the fruits. After picking, the product is dried under the sun or in warm air dryers and conserved in thin layers in closed, airy store rooms.
The «Piedmont Hazelnut» or «Nocciola Piemonte» is sold with their shells in cloth bags suitable for all market levels, or as an exception, loose only in the first phase of sales between the single farmer or producer and the first buyer who owns a nut processing and packaging facility. For the peeled, half-finished and finished product instead it is sold in suitable food bags also following the producers' registration in the production cycles that uphold the product's quality.
The peeled product can be marketed only if prepacked or packaged upon sales.
The Piedmontese hazelnut IGP must be stored in a cool and airy place to prevent it from going rancid.
The Piedmontese hazelnut IGP is produced between August and September, but is sold throughout the year.
It is sold with its shell, without its shell, semifinished, finished, transformed into small pieces, as flour and hazelnut oil.
The percentage of lipids is over 40% from monosaturated fatty acids (such as oleic acid) and has the highest ratio of monosaturated/polysaturated fats with respect to other dry fruits. Recent studies seem to demonstrate the positive effects of hazelnut intake on the overall health of man.
In fact it is confirmed that a diet rich in oleic acids (the same fatty acid present in extra virgin olive oil) maintains the " bad colesterol" low and increases the "good colesterol", an important defense against vascular pathologies. Furthermore, because of its high rates of vitamin E, the hazelnut provides notable antioxidant agents that slow down the aging of tissues.
The packaging must also bear the indications "Piedmont Hazelnut" or «Hazelnut from Piedmont" followed by the "protected geographic indication" or «IGP», and the name, company and address of the packaging company. The indication of the year of harvest of hazelnuts contained is compulsory for the shelled or unshelled product.
Furthermore, the shelled product, in sacks, bags or loose whether labeled or not, with all the indications foreseen by the regulations given to guarantee proper controls and retraceability, have to be accompanied by the business papers containing the protected geographic indication and the documentation foreseen for the possible portioning out of the batch; the labels of unshelled and semi-processed products packed in sacks, boxes or other foodstuff containers have to bear the IGP community symbol.
Labels of products that use the Piedmont Hazelnut IGP designation also following processing or transformation, may also refer to the designation without applying the community logo, provided that the Piedmont Hazelnut IGP is the exclusive component of that product category and that the product transforming companies are authorized to do so by the Safeguarding Consortium and the Consortium for the Valorisation of the Piedmont Hazelnut IGP.
European community registration
Reg.ne EU Reg.to CE 1050 of 12/09/2007
GUCE L240 13.09.2007