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Official Tourist Information Site of Imola's Area

Marrone di Castel del Rio I.G.P.


Protected Geographical Indication

Marrone di Castel del Rio IGP(Protected Geographical Indication) is only given by the “Castanea sativa” species. The marrone has specific organoleptic qualities and is larger than chestnuts. Indeed, each husk usually contains one or two chestnuts, rarely three. It has an elliptic shape; one side is flat while the other is convex. Its glossy reddish brown skin is furrowed lengthwise by rough darker stripes. The clear pulp is crisp and sweet tasting. The thin film which protects the fruit can be easily removed. This makes processing much easier.


Legal reference:
EC Regulation No.1263/96 (OJEC L 163/96, 02.07.1996)

Growing techniques:
The Marrone di Castel del Rio IGP is given only by chestnut groves growing between 200 and 800 metres a.s.l. Spacing plantation layouts, training systems and pruning techniques must be the traditional ones. The number of trees per hectare should vary from 75 and 125. Any practice aimed to force growing is forbidden as well as the use of synthetic fertilizers and of plant protection products. The maximum production allowed is 1.5 tons per hectare. All operations carried out on harvested chestnuts (such as selection, sorting and soaking) should take place within the production areas (which also include Imola’s municipal territory). Storage should occur according to traditional methods without using chemicals. All these conditions can be found in the Santerno Valley where chestnut-trees live for up to 400 years.

Preparation techniques:
The best way to enjoy marroni is to roast them on the coals of a fireplace (caldarroste) but they can be also boiled, braised, mashed (to make a refined stuffing or to accompany game) or cooked with milk, sugar and Cognac. The marroni are used to make the renowned marron glacés which are a fundamental ingredient of many confectioner’s recipes such as Montblanc, tronchetti and fruit tarts with chestnuts and strawberries. Last but not least, chestnut flour (to which eggs, milk, sugar and aniseed are added) is used to prepare local specialities such as frittelle, sweet ravioli, tortelli (in local dialect, capaltéz) and, above all, castagnaccio (chestnut cake).

Production area :
The production area includes the municipalities of Castel del Rio (the territory located on the right-hand bank of the Sillaro river), Fontanelice, Casalfiumanese and Borgo Tossignano.

Wine matches:
Caldarroste marry best with red wines (Sangiovese di Romagna and Novello Colli d’Imola). Marron glacés can be matched with very sweet, fortified wines with a high alcohol content such as Albana di Romagna passito.

Historical and geographical information:
The chestnut-tree comes from the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. In the Middle Ages its fruits were a staple of people’s diet. In the 17th century chestnut growing and sale were a fundamental source of income for the territory around Castel del Rio. In the first half of the 19th century, a market was held in this area as soon as chestnuts ripened. In 1885, according to more accurate information, chestnut-tree growing covered 1,450 hectares, i.e. 40% of land intended for agriculture in Castel del Rio’s territory. In 1936 a Royal Decree was issued to distinguish the authentic marroni from ordinary chestnuts.

Protection association:
Consorzio Castanicoltori di Castel del Rio
c/o Comunità Montana Valle del Santerno
2, Via Mengoni – 40025 Fontanelice (BO)
Tel. +39 0542 92638 – Fax +39 0542 92491

Control body:
Check Fruit
24, Via Boldrini - 40021 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 6494836 - Fax +39 051 6494813

Related events:
Sagra del Marrone di Castel del Rio (Chestnut Festival) – in October.

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Last update: 18-10-2013