The round Giffoni hazelnut is one of the most prestigious Italian cultivars of this type of tree. The nut is consistent, crunchy and aromatic, and it is used to prepare desserts, cakes, custards and nougat.
In the inland of Campania, between Valle del Picentino and Valle dell’Irno, in the province of Salerno, there are the municipalities of Giﬀoni Valle Piana, Giﬀoni Sei Casali, San Cipriano Picentino, Fisciano, Calvanico, Castiglione del Genovesi, Montecorvino Rovella, Baronissi, Montecorvino Pugliano, Olevano sul Tusciano, San Mango Piemonte, and Acerno. In this area, hazelnut plants belong to the cultivar called Tonda di Giffoni (the round hazelnut of Giffoni), one of the most prestigious Italian varieties, from which we have an aromatic and crunchy nut with a protected geographical indication (IGP): the Giffoni Hazelnut.
Ivory-hued, crunchy and aromatic The hazelnut from the cultivar Tonda di Giﬀoni was recognised as IGP in 1997. It is ideal both to be eaten plain and to be transformed. The products deriving from it, such as hazelnut paste and flour, can use the origin label only upon authorisation of the protection Consortium. The Giffoni Hazelnut stands out for its red-toned outer shell, round shape, the calibre when unshelled of at least 13 mm, and ease of peeling (over 85%). The yield, upon shelling, must not be lower than 43%, the nut must be ivory-hued, consistent, crunchy and suitable for toasting. To the taste, the flavours must be very intense and aromatic. The Giffoni Hazelnut is sold raw and unshelled, toasted in the shell, shelled, toasted and peeled. With its wealth of beneficial properties, the IGP Giffoni Hazelnut is a digestible albeit high-calorie nut, with a high concentration of vitamins, minerals and oleic acid, which aids in the regulation of cholesterol levels.
A sought-after hazelnut The Consortium for the protection of the IGP Giffoni Hazelnut, established in 2010, has the purpose of championing the cultivar Tonda di Giffoni and the IGP hazelnut that results from it. The aim is to increase its consumption and to closely watch the production system so that it is done in accordance with the guidelines and quality standards. At the moment, over 60 farms are associated with the Consortium, united in the Tonda di Giffoni cooperative farming company, along with 4 packaging companies. The cultivation spans over 300 hectares of land, for a production of about 600,000 -700,000 kilos of hazelnuts per year. Being an early season variety, the Giffoni Hazelnut is picked starting mid-August, sun-dried or dried in specific desiccators, and then deposited in cool and well-aired places. When they are ready to be sold, each package is traceable thanks to a specific code.