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Chestnuts

Cilento, an area very rich in vegetation and above all in forests, is very important also for the production of chestnuts. Roccadaspide chestnuts (also called marroni di Roccadaspide) are very famous, together with Alburni chestnuts. They have a medium size and a compact and rather sweet pulp, covered by a membrane you can easily take off. The tree provides tannin, used for the skin tanning, and a good timber used in the past to build railway lines, telephone poles, fences, and furniture. Chestnuts were a product both for the rich and the poor. The former prepared with them refined recipes, while the latter appreciated them for their high nutritional value. From chestnuts it is possible to obtain a flour which lasts long without deteriorating and, therefore, ideal to feed the troops in case of war. The tree was probably introduced in Italy and Europe by the Romans, but it was in the Middle Ages that the tireless monks created large cultivations both in the mountains and in the hills.

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