Once upon a time, Cervioni's Hazelnut...
Return to the origins of the famous hazelnut
In the early 1900s, Corsica faced a frost period leading to the abandon of the citron cultivation. The citron trees were replaced little by little by hazelnut trees, implanted on the Eastern Coast, mainly in Orezza-Ampugnani, Casinca and Costa Verde areas. The hazelnut production was so successful that Corsica became, after the Second World War, the first hazelnut-producing region of France. The production started to struggle in the 60s, but the fact remains that the cultivation of hazelnuts is still a substantial one in Corsica.
In the 90s, the A Nuciola association is founded. It gathers local producers committed to the growing, the development and the promotion of Cervione’s hazelnut. It got in 2012 the PGI label “Noisette de Cervione – Nuciola di Cervioni”, which guarantees a traditional production without treatments or chemical fertilizers. Still on the association’s initiative, the village of Cervione hosts every year during the last weekend of August the fair “Destination Noisette” to celebrate and savour this much-loved fruit. Finally, 2016 is a significant turning-point for the production because of the establishment of an innovative shelling machine directly located in Cervione.
Cervione hazelnut’s features
The main hazelnut variety in Corsica is the Coutard, renamed “Noisette de Cervione” on the island. Its taste is strong, distinct, lightly woody, sweet and aromatic. Its nutritional qualities are significant: it is vigorous, rich in vegetable proteins, in fibres, in vitamins and in mineral salts. It is also a resistant hazelnut, rarely affected by diseases. Moreover, a mildness climate, fertile soil and steep slopes are optimal conditions to grow this famous hazelnut.
Hazelnut and its by-products.
Harvested in September, fruit can be eaten as they are or transformed. Nowadays we can find a wide range of by-products: creams, beauty products, oil, flour, chocolate, nougats, honey… Don’t forget 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 is the reference in regard to hazelnut candies and condiments. It produces 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 delicious recipes: pancakes, fritters, cakes, biscuits, ice creams…
So, are you tempted to discover this famous hazelnut? Come with us and try it!