Nocciola Piemonte PGI refers to unshelled, shelled, and semi-processed hazelnuts obtained from the Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnut cultivar which is produced in Piedmont and mainly in the area of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato hills.
Piedmont, where the Nocciola Piemonte PGI originates, is a region that boasts five UNESCO sites, including the Langhe – Roero and Monferrato areas. This confirms the fact that man has skilfully integrated himself with this territory, keeping its geo-morphological characteristics unaltered to such an extent that it has been recognised as an integral part of World Heritage. The UNESCO site includes breathtaking views with hills cultivated with hazelnut groves and vineyards.
The hazelnut tree was one of the first fruit-bearers used and cultivated by man, being already an important source of energy for the first nomadic populations. In 1806 following the war against England, Napoleon imposed a freeze on imports from that country, including cocoa, making it practically unobtainable and at intolerable prices. The master pastry chefs of Turin began to mix what little cocoa had remained with the cheaper Nocciola Tonda Gentile Trilobata; a new product called Gianduja was born.
Around 1930 the cultivation of hazelnuts spread in the Langhe thanks to the passionate activity of Emanuele Ferraris, who demonstrated at the time that the hazelnut tree was more resistant and durable than the vine.
In addition to having a significant content of essential amino acids and vitamin E, the hazelnut is particularly rich in lipids.
Specifically, the lipid fraction has over 40% of monounsaturated fatty acids (as oleic acid) and has the highest monounsaturated/polyunsaturated ratio compared to other dried fruit. Recent studies seem to demonstrate that a regular consumption of hazelnuts has a positive effects on human health.
It is confirmed in fact that a diet rich in oleic acid (the same fatty acid that is in extra virgin olive oil) maintains the so-called “bad cholesterol” at low levels in the blood, and increases the levels of “good cholesterol”.
Hazelnuts from Alba, Italy