When we talk about months like October and November, it is impossible not to think of chestnuts and the numerous delicacies made with their own flour. For this reason, autumn is the ideal time for a trip out of town to Monte Baldo, the "natural balcony" overlooking the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, the production area of the so called Marrone di San Zeno Dop.
Veneto is known for its great variety of chestnuts and those of this territory are recognized for their flavor, caloric intake and high digestibility. Their name is associated with that of San Zeno di Montagna, a town on Monte Baldo where the Consorzio di Tutela del Marrone Dop is also based. Here every autumn - except for 2020 - the traditional festival is organized which runs from mid-October to mid-November. This year, however, the sale of chestnuts is guaranteed and there are five restaurants open where you can taste the delicacies of the area! Among these the gnocchi made with chestnut flour, cooked with ricotta on nettle pesto, diced pumpkin and fried sage. A variant is represented by gnocchi made of polenta and chestnuts, this time with donkey stew sauce and the cheese Monte Veronese. At the table you cannot miss a glass of Bardolino and, for dessert, a parfait with chestnuts to end in style.
Marroni of San Zeno Dop are still collected and treated with the traditional method today. Thanks to the "novena", the chestnuts are left to rest for nine days in cold water, which is changed approximately every 48 hours and without adding additives. Fruits and sea urchins are stored in the open air for a period between one and two weeks so that a natural fermentation is favored to open the fruit and protect it from molds and parasites: this system is known as the "rissara" system.
Do you want to come and discover the beauties of this territory? Exit at the Peschiera junction along the A4 Brescia Verona Vicenza Padova and skirt the Lake Garda on the Veronese side until you reach Monte Baldo: it will be an unforgettable trip to fully experience autumn and its colors.
A land to discover:
Food and wine: Chestnut flour gnocchi, accompanied by a glass of Bardolino.
History: A disputed and border area, from the Middle Ages to the Great War.
Territory: The landscapes of Monte Baldo, a natural terrace on Lake Garda.