PIEDMONT HAZELNUT IGP
IGP Piedmont Hazelnut of the Langhe refers to the in-shell, shelled and semi-processed fruit obtained from the Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnut cultivar. It has a spherical shape of uneven size. The shell is medium thick, non-glossy hazel color with numerous streaks. The seed is variable in shape (subspheroidal, tetrahedral, and sometimes ovoid); firm and crisp in texture, it has a fine, persistent flavor and once roasted is easily peeled.
The planting distances and forms of farming in use can be traced back to "bush" cultivation. Harvesting, now mechanized, must be done between the second half of August and the first half of September when the fruit spontaneously detaches from the plant. It is done in several stages to prevent spoilage and ensure the quality of the fruit. Next, the fruits are placed to dry in the sun on paved outdoor areas, being careful to protect the product from moisture, or in desiccators in which the conditions of natural drying must be reproduced (continuous motion desiccators with warm air, never above 35°C). The product is then stored in closed, ventilated rooms, where the hazelnuts are placed in layers of moderate thickness.
The IGP Piedmont Hazelnut of the Langhe, considered the best for industrial use, finds its greatest expression together with chocolate.