Learn how Chestnut Flour is made.
We carefully select each raw material used for our production, going in search of unique and valuable products related to our territory and our oldest traditions.
The Chestnut Flour used in our workshop comes from the Alta Valle del Bisenzio, from an ancient mill of 1885. The mill is still fed with the water of a stream and the whole structure is still that originally 120 years ago.
Every time we personally get to know all our suppliers and this time it was a unique and unforgettable experience, feeling the smell of freshly ground chestnut flour from two master millers in a magical place in the middle of the forest.
"Se vuoi saper chi son cotesti due
La valle onde il Bisenzio si dichina
Del padre loro Alberto e di lor fue.
D'un corpo usciro: e tutta la Caina
Potrai cercare e non troverai ombra
Degna più d'esser fitta in gelatina".
La Divina Commedia Inferno, Canto XXXII
Right there in Val di Bisenzio, not far from the dominant Rocca Cerbaia described by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy, there is a small ancient mill,called Molin dei Fossi, which still today produces chestnut flour as a hundred Years ago. Chestnut flour is one of the few products that, even today and despite the modernity, is processed entirely by hand. After all, the most difficult part is the collection, which would be too difficult to industrialize.
Not by chance, in the past centuries in mountain areas the chestnut tree was defined a "bread tree": in addition to fruits and chestnut flour, the plant also provided wood and honey, and each family generally owned a room for drying chestnuts.
The grat or "cannicciaia" was a small cabin (or a piece of cabin), with only one high and wide room divided in half by a floor formed by a trellis (hence the name grat). On the trellis they layed a layer of chestnuts, about 30-40 centimeters thick. Then, on the ground, in the middle of the room, a fire was lit up with large chunks of chestnut tree, which had to make a little flame and a lot of smoke, so as to make the chestnuts desiccate slowly.
It always took 20/30 days to dry them well: every now and then the chestnuts were turned over to dry out evenly. It was a rather difficult operation because the fire had to work regularly and produce smoke to give the chestnuts the right aroma. It was important not to burn the chestnuts, otherwise the flour produced later had a bitter and unpleasant taste.
Once the chestnuts had finished drying they proceeded with the "pounding" that was used to remove the shell, now separated from the inside; finally it was passed to the milling of the chestnut pulp. Today nothing has changed in this long journey, and behind every kilo of delicious chestnut flour there is still a lot of mastery and hard work, finally it is important to know that from three kilos of chestnuts you get about a kilo of sweet flour!