Piedmont Hazelnut IGP
The Piedmont hazelnut, “Tonda Gentile delle Langhe” is considered to be one of the finest varieties of hazelnut. It is valued for its unique shape – almost perfectly round (‘tonda’), its mild (‘gentile’) flavour and high oil content.
The large fruit that is yielded also makes it a popular choice for use in confectionery.
The hazelnut can be found growing in the undulating hills of the Langhe region (south of Turin). The Langhe is also home to acres of vineyards of nebbiolo grapes, producing Italy’s finest Barolo and Barberesco wines.
Like Italy’s wines, the Piedmont hazelnut is cultivated and protected under strict agricultural regulations. It is the only variety of hazelnut to be awarded the certification IGP ("Indicazione Geografica Protetta" or protected designation of origin), as a testament to its superior quality.
Regulations allow for a production of no more than 3,400 kilos per hectare, and govern the environmental conditions in which the Piedmont hazelnut “Nocciola Piemontese” is cultivated.
Toasted Piedmont Hazelnuts are an important ingredient in the traditional chocolates and sweets from the region.
In particular the hazelnuts are mixed with cocoa and sugar to produce Gianduia chocolate spread and Gianduiotti, small foil wrapped chocolates with a characteristic upside down boat shape.
Nutritional Properties of the Hazelnut
The Piedmont Hazelnut distinguishes itself from other hazelnut varieties with its high oil content (approximately 70%).
It has a high percentage of monounsaturated fat (40% in 100g).
Similar to extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut oil is rich in essential amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and lipids.
Bonieri uses cocoa from Ecuador in South America and Ghana.
Ecuador's native cocoa beans are known as 'Nacional' or 'Arriba' and are distinct from the other three known varieties of cocoa bean.
The floral aroma unique to the Nacional cacao is called the 'Arriba' flavour.
The Arriba Nacional beans are grown in mineral rich volcanic soil at high elevation.
For the traditional gianduja products, Bonieri uses Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans.
Whilst synthetic vanilla accounts for 90% of vanilla world markets, nothing compares to the taste of vanilla from a bean pod.
Coffee and chocolate are the perfect combination and Bonieri uses strong 100% Arabica beans in its gianduja products and chocolate coffee treats.