Chestnut Festival in San Zeno di Montagna
At Lake Garda, the chestnut or in Italian "marrone" has established itself over centuries as a favourite food and today, especially in autumn, forms an indispensable part of the regional cuisine.
At the latest by October, the various chestnut dishes decorate the menus of the restaurants in San Zeno di Montagna. At the foot of Monte Baldo, east of Lake Garda, you're invited to attend the Festa del Marrone. On several weekends at the end of October and the beginning of November, local chestnut products can be bought, and you can taste the delicious dishes in combination with the Vino Novello.
The chestnut throughout history
The sweet chestnut has its origin east of the Black Sea. In ancient Greece, they used it for black bread, flour and soups. The Romans eventually spread it throughout the Roman Empire, including Lake Garda.
At that time, they used the whole tree. The nuts, the tree honey, wood, bark, leaves and flowers were all utilised. The nut was an important staple food in the early Middle Ages thanks to its abundance of proteins, minerals and vitamins, and they used it for flour, dried or smoked them.
The centres were now the Iberian Peninsula, central and southern France, Corsica, central and northern Italy, Italian-speaking Switzerland and the Balkan Peninsula and especially in the rural, mountainous areas from the 16th to the 18th century, the chestnut was one of the primary food sources. As industrialisation increased and the rural exodus began the tree population suffered from disease and declined.
Today, we see the chestnut as a delicacy where they get traditionally roasted in special chestnut pans or mashed, glazed or dried.
The Chestnut Festival in San Zeno di Montagna takes place again probably in 2022.
For more information and exact dates for the Chestnut Festival in San Zeno di Montagna, visit www.marronedisanzeno.it.