The IGT “ Nocciola of Giffoni” is referred to one of the finest varieties of nuts in Italy: the “ Tonda of Giffoni”.
The main characteristics of “Nocciola of Giffoni” are the perfect round shape of the seed (shelled nut), with a white solid aromatic pulp, and the thin and easily removable perisperm (inner film). It's ideal for toasting, peeling and selection, because of its medium average size. For all those reasons it's particularly indicated for the industry and it's widely employed for producing paste and crumbs, as well as main ingredient for industrial baked goods. In its natural area of origin, it's also used to prepare typical products as sweets, cakes, ice-creams, creams, first courses and nut liquors.
This “ Nut of Giffoni” IGP can also be consumed raw thanks to its shape and quality, both with shell and without as a snack, to the point that now there is a renewed high interest in it. Raw or covered with chocolate, honey or nougat, this special nut meets the interest of a large number of consumers worldwide.
This is a early-medium variety, so it's usually collected around the third week of August; then the nuts are left to dry out so to reach a humidity level of 5-7% and put in fresh air places, with no smell and humidity.
Its high nutritional content helps against arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, thanks to its high concentration of unsaturated fats, like the oleic acid, that strongly limit the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Moreover, it's rich in vitamins E, B, C as in minerals like iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and selenium, which are fundamental for the cell system of the human body.
The cultivation of hazelnut in Campania is an ancient activity. There are a lot of evidences found in the Latin literature since the III century b. c., and from archaeological finds, like charred rests of nuts, now displayed at the National museum in Naples. The diffusion of this cultivation to the rest of Italy seems to be started from this region, so that in the XVII century the trade of nuts with other nations was already an established business.
The first evidences of the cultivation of “Nut of Giffoni” IGP, a typical product of Salerno, were found in the Middle-age times, but it was only through the trade with Italy and abroad during the Bourbon times that its high quality level was known.
Later, in the '900, it spread all over thanks to the baking industry growth. The area of Picentini and Irno Valley is the ideal environment for the cultivation of nuts, since it's always been a native plant of the area. The volcanic soil is very fertile, so to make the “Tonda of Giffoni” grow well, and also thanks to the combination of environmental, natural and human factors typical of that area.