The chesnut of the Cévennes
Local product of the Gard region, and more especifically from the Cévennes, the chesnut has everything to please you.
And if autumn allows us to find it on the markets, it is also the promise of good times in the kitchen.
A product of the Cévennes region, the same way as the Vigan apple or the sweet onion, the chestnut can be enjoyed til December.
Since its PDO obtained in 2020, the Cévennes chestnut (of which several varieties are grown, such as the "Pellegrine, Dauphine, Figarette, Bouche Rouge"...) is recognised as one of the symbols of the region.
- 345 farms share today about "1,200 ha for 780 tons" of the production.
- The cultivation of chestnut trees involves several stages: the flowering of the trees, pollination and finally the setting, which will later produce the fruit.
- Nets are placed under the trees and the bugs are collected by hand.
- The fruit is separated from the bugs with "a huller and soaked in water to separate the bad fruit".
- Like other fruits, the chestnuts are graded before being processed or sold as it is.
Of the total chestnut production
"The cooperative Cévennes Origin chestnut growers represent a production of 32 tons, of which nearly 3.5 tonnes are PDO".
Apart from fresh chestnuts, there is also chestnut flour, chestnut jam and chestnut purée.
Chestnuts are used in cooking and can be eaten both sweet and salty : There are chestnut pâté, stuffed capon, chestnut flour bread, chestnut cake or tiramisu, chestnut log for Christmas and of course the famous French marrons glacés. The product lends itself to all kinds of desires and inventiveness. It's up to you to choose what you like!
What about health
Rich in carbohydrates and fibres, source of phosphorus and magnesium between others, the vitamin C it contains also makes it an excellent health ally in winter.
Created in 1991 under the name of Sica, the Origine Cévennes cooperative now groups together 90% of Cévennes sweet onion producers. It has 70 producers and sells in France and abroad (Italy, Switzerland, Benelux, Germany).
Its mission? To promote the flagship products bearing the Origine Cévennes label, such as AOC chestnuts, but also a wider range of products from the Cévennes, Gard and Lozère regions... The AOC (PDO) is used for fresh chestnuts, peeled fruit and chestnut flour.
Will there soon be a Cévennes chestnut route? The Cévennes chestnut association is currently working on the creation of a Cévennes chestnut route that would highlight all the specificities of the emblematic Cévennes fruit, the producers...
Many thanks to Anne-Solveig Aschehoug, from the Origine Cévennes press service for the press release Chestnuts by the Origine Cévennes cooperative