Marrone di San Zeno DOP is a fruit grown in the province of Verona in Northern Italy, between the Garda Lake and the Adige River Valley. Chestnut trees are in the Baldo, an area so rich in flowers to be called "the garden of Europe".
Local chestnut trees have been known since the Middle Ages; written evidence describing trees, picking and selling of chestnuts, can be found from the 1200 on. Chestnuts were very important in the diet of mountain people; they were eaten raw or cooked and used to make flour to prepare bread or polenta.
Marrone di San Zeno DOP is picked in autumn and treated using the two traditional techniques: the novena and the rissara. In the first one, chestnuts are soaked in cold water for nine days, in the second one fruits and in the open air for one or two weeks. These treatments preserve chestnuts from fungi, moulds and parasites.
This sweet tasting fruit is enjoyed roasted, boiled or used as an ingredient for nutritious and tasty local traditional dishes. Marrone di San Zeno DOP is employed ion the production of desserts or candied, with syrup or with grappa. A peculiar castanea beer is made with it. It is an amber, strong tasting ale, made with local products.