FOR EXPO 2015
Val di Non DOP Apples
Not far from Trento, are the Val di Non’s alpine
lakes (such as Santa Giustina and Tovel), the Maddalene mountain range
and the Brenta Dolomites, all of which are UNESCO heritage including also
the beautiful Adamello Brenta Natural Park. There are villages and hamlets
everywhere, often with ancient palaces and castles (Thun, Cles, San Romedio
Sanctuary). The Noce river and several torrents and brooks have eroded
the rocks over the centuries, and this is why Val di Non is also known
as Canyon Valley. Apple orchards cover more than 10 per cent of the entire
valley surface and have been in this area since ancient times. The name
of Malé, an important centre of the valley is testimonial to this;
the name derives from the latin maletum (place of apples).
The cooperative was founded in 1989 and represents 16 fruit producing
co-ops with more than 5000 members whose apple orchards cover about
6500 hectares and annually produce about 300 thousand tons of apples,
about 15 % of the national production. The cooperative represents the
apples and products made from apples in 27 countries worldwide.
DOP was assigned in 2003, and the co-op members follow a disciplinary
protocol which demands integrated cultivation methods in order to obtain
quality fruit which respects and safeguards the environment. The DOP production
area is found in the self-governing province of Trento next to the Noce
stream covering the whole territory.
DOP Val di Non applies to three apples varieties: Golden Delicious, Red
Delicious and Canadian Renet; each apple receives a sticker with the cooperative
Golden Delicious are more or less intense yellow, sometimes with a slight
red hue on the side which was more exposed to the sun; the shape is truncated
conical; the pulp is subtle, firm and crunchy; the flavour is sweet and
balanced. They are available all year round owing to the long shelf life.
Red Delicious are bright velvety red, with waxy-looking peel; truncated-conical
shape, sometimes flared in the centre with five tips at the end; the pulp
is subtle, crunchy and juicy and becomes soft when mature; they have an
intense and sweet flavour. Available from October to June.
Canadian Renet are ideal in the kitchen, not only in the preparation of
desserts but also for savoury recipes. Yellow coloured, becoming grained
when well matured with a more or less extensive “rust”; the
form is rounded, slightly flattened and irregular; the pulp is white,
soft and mellow; the taste is particular, aromatic and intense. Available
from the end of September to May.
GASTRONOMY OF THE TERRITORY
Traditional Trentino cuisine makes use of simple ingredients, such as
stale bread for ‘strangolapreti’ (rustic potato dumplings
with spinach) and ‘canederli’ (similar to those in Alto Adige),
and potatoes which make delicious soups and savoury pies (‘tortel
da patate’). Berries, game and mushrooms are obtained from the woods.
A frequent ingredient is polenta (maize flour cooked in salted water)
which accompanies all dishes, even cold meats and cheeses, which are abundant
in the region, such as ‘grana trentino’ and ‘mortandela’,
a special cold meat which has the form of a large meatball. Among the
desserts, as well as strudel and apple pie, there is also ‘brezdel’,
a fluffy doughnut covered with sugar.
POLENTA AND MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms are picked from the forests. ‘Boletus’, ‘finferli’
and many other varieties can be found, mixed up and cooked together to
become ‘pocio’, the base for savoury, aromatic gravies to
accompany polenta, meat or fish. Polenta is prepared in the traditional
way, then left to firm up and then be sliced up and barbecued or cooked
in oil, served very hot.
Mushrooms are rapidly tossed in the frying pan with a little oil, finely
chopped onion or garlic and parsley, so that they remain slightly crisp.
Often sausage meat is added and left to brown before adding the mushrooms;
thus the dish becomes an excellent main course.
(English translation by Gudrun Dalla Via)
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