The chestnut tree is longevous but characterized by a very slow development. It can reach the 35 meters of height and the two meters of diameter. The fruits ripen in autumn, from September to November. It is necessary to make a distinction between chestnuts and marroni: chestnuts are the fruit of the wild chestnut tree, while marroni are the fruits of cultivated trees, and are usually bigger.
The harvesting takes place from September to the end of October. The deriving products are dried chestnuts and chestnut flour.
Diet - With respect to fresh fruit, the caloric supply of fresh chestnuts (about 210 kcal for 100 g) is higher. Moreover, chestnuts also contain vegetal proteins, mineral salts, water soluble vitamins, while they lack in vitamin C. It has a composition similar to wheat; however, its nutritional value is lower than wheat flour. Another quality of the chestnut is linked to its particular structure: as a matter of fact, the chestnut husk protects the fruit from chemical treatments.
Chestnuts can be used to prepare various dishes, or they can be directly eaten after boiling them or after cooking them in special pierced pans (roasted chestnuts, less digestible for the cooking method). They can also be used to prepare cakes and jams. Chestnuts can also be dried; from dried chestnuts it is possible to obtain flour with which you prepare the cake castagnaccio.
The Chestnut and Mountain Local Product Festival in Melezzole di Montecchio offers the possibility to taste roasted chestnuts and chestnut desserts, as well as many other products of the mountains (last Sunday of October), and Morre di Baschi (next to last Sunday of October).