Identikit and main features
The category Piedmont hazelnut refers to the Tonda Gentile hazelnut produced in the Langa area; this variety is characterised by a very hard and completely full shell, which guarantees a good product after shelling. The Piedmontese Hazelnut is a PGI product and it is particularly appreciated by the confectionery industry for its quality characteristics such as the spheroidal shape, the flavour, the excellent fragrance on toasting, high shelling quality and a good storing capacity. For all these reasons the “Nocciola Piemonte” is universally recognised best in the world. The final product is represented by shelled hazelnuts and confectionery products such as gianduja, hazelnut cake, hazelnut cream and nougat.
Area of production
The production is produced in the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria, in the territories among the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato territories.
The first hazelnut implants were developed thanks to the Prof. Emanuele Férraris, born in Garessio and “Langarolo” by election. He introduced and spread this activity to the Alta Langa district, showing higher productivity and the resistance of this plant to parasitic diseases compared with vines. In the 20th century we have seen a strong expansion of this cultivation, thanks to the high demand of the confectionery industry and for this reason the Langhe, the province of Cuneo and, subsequently, the neighbouring provinces of Asti and Alessandria, became the land of the hazelnut. The history of this cultivation has been handed down during the years along with evolution of the confectionery industry and with the discovery of the gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut).