Farina di Castagne della Lunigiana DOP
Farina di Castagne della Lunigiana DOP is a sweet flour made in Tuscany, in the mountains and valleys of the province of Massa Carrara. The East-West exposure of the woods, fair temperature and sea winds which mitigate the summer heat allow the trees to grow without stress and accumulate a lot of sugar; this sugar make chestnuts and the derived flour particularly sweet.
Chestnut tree fits well in the Lunigiana area; reports from the XV century talk about the importance of chestnuts in local economy which represent "two thirds of the Lunigiana bread". Chestnut woods were so important that they were protected by law from 1400 to 1700.
The process of production of Farina di Castagne deal Lunigiana DOP still uses traditional methods. Chestnuts are dried in the gradili, stone structures in which chestnuts are placed on a thick grid of wooden beams hung 2 meters above the ground. Once dried, they are peeled and then crushed in traditional mills, slow and using stone, making the flour soft and light.
The flour is very smooth, ivory white and sweet. Chestunts have been a fundamental food in the region, so there are many traditional dishes where ether are the main ingredient: among these, pattona (a sort of crepe), lasagne bastards (made with chestnut and wheat) and cian (pancakes).