Identikit and main features
The Madernassa pear belongs to a parthenocarpic variety, it means that it produces seedless fruits. Medium- small-sized, piriform, quite regular, slightly flattened at the two extremities, with thin medium – long stalk, inserted in a small cavity. The peel is quite rough, rusty-coloured, sallow green, lightly covered with a pale red, with numerous irregular lenticels.It has a small core and light-yellowish white pulp, crispy and slightly granular, a light fragrance, with a sweet, slightly tannic flavour. Its best characteristics are enhanced by cooking.
Area of production
Today the area of production is limited to the more suitable areas of Roero and Valle Grana.
The Madernassa pear was first described by Cavazza (1908) who glorified its rustic characteristics, productivity and long life. Only in 1927 this variety was brought to the attention fruit-growers at the “Congresso di Frutticoltura di Lugo”, when its adoption was recommended also in other areas of northern Italy. The mother plant came from a seed that had fallen by chance on a plot of the Gavello farmhouse in Borgata Madernassa, on a hill situated between Guarene and Castagnito. When it started to yield its first fruits, the farm owner appreciated its taste and when the tree became rustic and vigorous, he spread it by grafting it over some pear trees that were already on the farm. Very soon, its cultivating and trading qualities became known to the neighbouring farmers, who multiplied them on their holdings and, from there, the cultivar spread throughout the Alba area. At first, the variety was given the name Gavello and only later with the name Madernassa.