The Fruit


M
arron, otherwise than the more common chestnut, has an oblong shape with a flat side and a convex one. It shows an external bright reddish shell, moreover the shell protects the fruit with an inner velvet skin. Its pulp is thick and the two skins can easily be taken off without spoiling the fruit. Compared to a chestnut, it is sweeter, more perfumed and bigger (less than 90 fruits are enough to weigh a kilogram of product), each husk holds a maximum of 2/3 fruits. It is a very nutricious food, very easy to digest at every age, rich of mineral salts, especially potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and vitamins of the B group.

The peculiarity of the marron is that the ripening is stated by the tree itself, which, opening the husk, drops it. Only at that time it is ready to be picked. The picking time is changeable since a warm and sunny summer anticipates its start to the end of September, on the other hand a wet and rainy summer posticipates it at October.

Due to the sharp slope and the specific features of the woods territories the picking is done, even today, by hand, so that the fruit doesn’t spoil in anyway. Before being set on the market it is divided according to its dimensions so that it could be as homogeneous as possible at the moment of the use. In this way no interference occurs during the entire process and that grants the traceability of the product.

To protect this product, which is a real gastronomical patrimony, the chestnut farmers of Castel del Rio joined in a union, in 1985, then they obtained the IGP Indicazione Geografica Protetta  certification for the specific features of these marrons.

How To Keep Them

For few weeks: stored in a fridge in the fruit box.
For a longer time: it is suggested to freeze them, after having made a cut on their convex side in case you’ll intend to eat them roasted.

How To Taste Them

Baken

  • Make a cut with a sharp knife on the convex side.
  • Bake them at 170┬░ for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Before serving, wrap them in a cloth and squeeze gently, so that you’ll partly break the shell.

Roasted

  • Make a cut with a sharp knife on the convex side.
  • Roast them in a “punched pan” on coals, paying attention that the heat isn’t excessive.
  • Before serving, wrap them in a cloth and squeeze gently, so that you’ll partly break the shell.

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