Last week, In Cravanzana in the Alta Langa, a new consortium was born to protect the quality and consistency of the local hazelnut crop.
Hazelnuts have long been prized in the Langhe hills and nowhere more so than in the Alta Langhe. Used by the finest chocolatiers, cake makers and chefs the world over, the nuts from this region are really the Rolls Royce of hazelnut production.
Whereas for wine, areas and individual vineyards have been classified by the quality of grapes they produce (IGP, DOC and DOCG) this exercise has never been undertaken for the precious hazelnut farmers. So thus a group of young and passionate growers from Cravanzana, Lequio Berria and Serravalle Langhe decided to create the Langarola classica-nocciola storica dell’Alta Langa.
For years, these hazelnuts were simply known as Tonda Gentile but a few years ago, some bright spark decided to register this name as a trademark and even for hazelnuts not grown in the Langhe hills. Silvano Bruna, the president of the consortium explained that something had to be done to develop the knowledge of both buyers and consumers alike, so that everyone would realise exactly what quality is being produced in this little piece of paradise
The aim of the consortium is not just to promote the quality of their production but also to regulate the way in which the nuts are cultivated thus guaranteeing the consumer the finest of quality from every nut. Said Silvano, “The road we will be following is that of decades ago taken by the great wine producers of the Piemonte, that obtained excellence from an area of limited dimensions. We believe that this is a part of the Langhe that has never really been considered but in which the products and the environment create an extraordinary marriage between quality and beauty.
If you would like more information on these wonderful hazelnuts, they will soon have a website up and running telling the whole story of their journey and the way forward. As soon as it’s working, I’ll add the details to this post.