Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP
Reg. EC 21 - 12.01.2010 OJEC L 8 - 13.01.2010
The Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP is a shelled or peeled pistachio nut from trees from the Pistacia vera, species, from the Napoletano cultivar, also called Bianca or Nostrale.
Method of working/Cultivation/Breeding
The product, nicknamed the "green gold of Bronte", is above all cultivated on lava grounds, ideal substrate for growing turpentine trees, the common name given to the Pistacia terebinthus tree which is the most important grafting support for the propagation of Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP. Pistachio groves can be specialised or associated with other types of tree, and the growing methods allowed are stump cultivation, vase growing and monocaule. Generally manual harvesting takes place between August 20th and October 10th. Within 24 hours from harvesting, the hulling of pistachio nuts must take place: the edible part of the fruit is separated from the external and fibrous hull. Later the fruits are dried in their shells at a temperature of 40-50°C, until obtaining nuts with a residual humidity between 4 and 6%. The storing phase can last the entire year following harvesting and the dried fruits are put in jute, paper or polyethylene sacks. The possible pistachio nut shelling or peeling can be made mechanically.
Aspect and Taste
The nuts of Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP have a long and slightly flattened shape the size of an olive. The colour of the external part of the shelled fruit is ruby red, whilst the internal is emerald green. The flavour is strongly aromatic.
The production area of Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP includes the municipal areas of Bronte, Adrano and Biancavilla in the Catania district, in region Sicily.
The pistachio tree was imported to Sicily by Arabs during their domination in the 8th and 9th centuries. The long life and the resistance to bad atmospheric conditions allowed the pistachio tree to settle steadily in the volcanic lands which were difficult to cultivate - the so-called “sciare” - which characterise the Bronte area and its surrounding. In fact, over time it has become the most important tree grove in terms of both covered area and profits produced. The local population developed their tradition and health with pistachio trees, thanks to the hard work of farmers, who passed on, from generation to generation, the care of the “lochi”, local name of pistachio tree groves, enabling Bronte to acquire the fame to be the "pistachio city".
Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP has to be stored in a cool and dry place. It can be eaten without cooking or processing, as a snack or an aperitif, but thanks to its peculiar aroma and quality, it has always been the primary element used in Sicilian confectionery and cuisine in general. It is traditionally used by confectioners from Bronte as an ingredient for ice creams, pastries, creams and spirits or to prepare the tasteful "pistachio cake" with sponge cake stuffed with chocolate. It is also the protagonist of first and second courses, which are increasingly more used in the restaurants' menus.
The product is sold as Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP. It is sold within two years from harvest, in shell, shelled or peeled and packed in new packaging of suitable material.
Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP owes its peculiarity, in addition to its uniform green colour and strong aroma, to its many nutritional properties: it contains vitamin A and is rich in iron, phosphorus and phenolic substances, all elements which favour the improvement of immune defences and body health.