The Corsican Hazelnut

Once upon a time, Cervioni's Hazelnut...

Return to the origins of a famous hazelnut

In the early 1900’s, Corsica faces a frost phase leading to the abandon of citron crop-growing.  Thus, those citron trees are replaced a bit at a time by hazelnut trees, implanted on the Eastern Coast, mainly in Orezza-AmpugnaniCasinca and Costa Verde areas. Hazelnut production achieves to the extent that Corsica will be, after the Second World War, the first hazelnut-producing region in France. In spite of a loss of production in the 60’s, the fact remains that hazelnut’s culture is still a substantial one in Corsica.
In the 90’s, A Nuciola association sees the day. It groups together some local producers who care about the culture, the upgrading and the promotion of Cervione’s hazelnut. This last one gets in 2012 the PGI “Noisette de Cervione – Nuciola di Cervioni”, which guarantees a traditional production, without treatments or chemical fertilizers. Still on the initiative of the association, the village of Cervione receives every years during the last week end of August the fair « Destination Noisette », which permits to celebrate and savor this much-loved fruit. Finally, 2016 is a significant turning-point for the production, because of the establishment of an innovative factory cracker, directly located in Cervione.

Foire de la Noisette 2016 (4)

Cervione’s hazelnut features

The main hazelnut variety in Corsica is the Coutard, renamed “Noisette de Cervione” on the island. Its taste is strong, distinct, softly woody, sweet and aromatic. Its nutritional qualities are significant: it is vigorous, rich in vegetable proteins, in fibers, in vitamins and in mineral salts. It’s also a resistant hazelnut, rarely affected by diseases. Moreover, mildness climate, fertile soil and steep slopes are optimal conditions to grow this famous hazelnut.

Noisette Corse

Hazelnut and its by-products.

Harvested in September, fruits can be edible as they are, or transformed. Nowadays, we can find a wide range of by-products: creams, beauty products, oil, flour, chocolate, nougats, honey… Not forgetting the Nuciola (hazelnut spread) ant the Salinu (condiment with salt and grilled hazelnuts), both created and produced by l’Atelier de la Noisette

About L’Atelier de la Noisette :

Created in 2002 by Charles Sforzini (trained by Pierre Hermé), it’s the reference in regard to hazelnut candies and condiments. He produces by itself from 25000 to 53000 kilograms of hazelnut a year (global production in Corsica is 300000 kilograms a year), and is behind numerous innovative products.

Also used for cooking, hazelnut is the ingredient of many sweet and savory recipes: pancakes, fritters, cakes, biscuits, ice creams

Cervione_Foire de la Noisette_2

So, are you tempted to discover this famous hazelnut ? Treat yourself to a stay among us !

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