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Document 52022XC0701(04)

Publication of an application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs 2022/C 252/09

C/2022/4503

OJ C 252, 1.7.2022, p. 26–30 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

1.7.2022   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 252/26


Publication of an application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

(2022/C 252/09)

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) within three months from the date of this publication.

SINGLE DOCUMENT

’CASTAGNA DI ROCCAMONFINA’

EU No: PGI-IT-02764 – 16.3.2021

PDO ( ) PGI (X)

1.   Name(s) [of PDO or PGI]

’Castagna di Roccamonfina’

2.   Member State or Third Country

Italy

3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff

3.1.   Type of product

Class 1.6. Fruit, vegetables and cereals fresh or processed

3.2.   Description of the product to which the name in (1) applies

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ is reserved for fruit belonging to the cultivar Primitiva (or Tempestiva), Napoletana (or Riccia, or Riccia Napoletana), Mercogliana (or Marrone), Paccuta and Lucente (or Lucida) cultivars produced in the defined geographical area.

When released for consumption, the product must have the following characteristics:

a)

Fresh chestnuts:

fruit: asymmetrical shape tending towards the spherical, of medium size;

calibration: no more than 110 fruit per kg of selected and/or calibrated product;

edible part: minimum 83 %;

pericarp: maximum 17 % of total fruit, chestnut brown in colour, with darker stripes that are not particularly evident, thin and tough consistency;

kernel: milky white colour with crunchy consistency and a medium-sweet and delicate taste;

chemical composition of the edible part:

water: 51 – 57 %;

proteins: 2,3 – 3,3 g/100 g;

total carbohydrates: 38 – 46 g/100 g;

lipids: 1,5 – 2,3 g/100 g;

pellicle: thin, brown, intruding only slightly into the kernel, of average adhesion;

the presence of worm-damaged, deformed, mouldy, shrivelled fruits is subject to the tolerance limits laid down in the general marketing standards (Annex I, part A, of Regulation (EC) No 543/2011).

b)

Dried chestnuts in shell:

asymmetrical shape, tending towards the spherical, fairly soft consistency, taste of sweet peeled fruit;

calibration: no more than 250 fruits per kg;

chemical composition of the edible part:

water: no more than 15 %;

proteins: 4,4 – 5,4 g/100 g;

total carbohydrates: 60 – 65 g/100 g;

lipids: 3 – 3,5 g/100 g;

dry in-shell yield: no more than 50 % by weight;

pericarp: thin and tough consistency;

the presence of internal or external defects (broken, worm-damaged, mouldy fruit) is subject to the tolerance limits laid down in the general marketing standards (Annex I, part A, of Regulation (EC) No 543/2011).

The product must be free of active infestation of any type.

c)

Whole dried chestnuts, shelled:

spherical in shape, fairly soft consistency, sweet taste;

calibration: no more than 300 fruits per kg;

moisture content of whole dry fruit: no more than 15 %;

dry shelled yield: no more than 50 % by weight;

the presence of internal or external defects (broken, worm-damaged, mouldy fruit) is subject to the tolerance limits laid down in the general marketing standards (Annex I, part A, of Regulation (EC) No 543/2011).

The product must be free of active infestation of any type.

d)

Whole peeled chestnuts:

spherical in shape, fairly crunchy consistency, sweet taste;

calibration: no more than 200 fruits per kg;

presence of pellicle on the fruit: no more than 3 %;

presence of worm-damaged or mouldy fruit: no more than 2 %;

presence of burnt fruit: no more than 5 %

3.3.   Feed (for products of animal origin only) and raw materials (for processed products only)

3.4.   Specific steps in production that must take place in the identified geographical area

The operations of sorting, calibration, treatment, sterilisation, drying, peeling and preserving the fruit are carried out in the territory defined in (4) below.

3.5.   Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc. of the product the registered name refers to

Packaging of fresh product: the product must be offered for sale in containers with a capacity of between 0,250 kg and 25 kg made of material permitted by national and EU legislation.

Packaging of dry in-shell product: dry in-shell chestnuts shall be marketed in packaging permitted under national and EU legislation containing a quantity of product of between 0,150 kg to 25 kg.

Packaging of dry shelled product: dry in-shell chestnuts shall be marketed in packaging permitted under national and EU legislation containing a quantity of product of between 0,100 kg to 25 kg.

Packaging of peeled product: the types of packaging for whole peeled chestnuts are as permitted under the legislation in force for that product, provided that the quality characteristics are not affected. The presence of foreign bodies of any kind is not permitted.

Vacuum packaging with a protective atmosphere and deep-frozen product is permitted.

Containers must always be sealed so as to prevent the contents from being removed without the seal being broken.

The operation of packaging is carried out under the supervision of the body authorised by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy to supervise the PGI ’Castagna di Roccamonfina’. This is in order to verify the origin and check that the product and the way in which it is presented are as laid down by the product specifications.

3.6.   Specific rules concerning labelling of the product the registered name refers to

Image 1

Labels on the sales packaging must bear, in clear and legible print, the name ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’, followed by the abbreviation PGI and the following logo:

It is forbidden to add to the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ any qualification not expressly provided for, including the adjectives: fine (fine), scelto (selected), selezionato (selected) or superiore (superior). Truthful and verifiable references describing the methods of manufacturers are permitted, such as: the name of the cultivar used or ‘product harvested by hand’. Names, business names and brand names may be used truthfully, provided they have no laudatory purport and are not such as to mislead the consumer. The use of other geographical indications is forbidden.

No other names not expressly provided for in this specification may be added to the label. The following must also be indicated: the name, business name and address of the producer and packager and all the information required by current legislation.

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area

The area of production of the GPI ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ comprises the entire administrative territory of the municipalities of: Caianello, Conca della Campania, Galluccio, Marzano Appio, Roccamonfina, Sessa Aurunca, Teano, Tora and Piccilli, all belonging to the province of Caserta.

5.   Link with the geographical area

The application for recognition of the name ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ is based on its strong national and international reputation and its main characteristic, which is the early ripening of the fruit.

The entire geographical area of ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ is dominated by the Vulcano di Roccamonfina, the oldest volcanic site in Campania, which is a fundamental element of the history and life of the surrounding area, made even more impressive by the vastness and beauty of the chestnut woods covering much of it. In terms of flora, the dominant species is actually the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), which is spread throughout almost all of the territory dominated by the volcano.

Over the various geological eras, the Roccamonfina volcanic complex has emitted sufficient pyroclastic material to cover a huge area, making the land unusually fertile. The entire area has neutro-acidophilic soils, ideal for chestnut cultivation. The land is covered by good, deep, highly fertile, sub-acid pH soil, with plenty of humus and rich in subsurface layers. The climate, too, is particularly favourable for chestnut orchards, with a mean annual rainfall of 838 mm and a mean temperature of 12,8 °C.

These soil and climate conditions (volcanic soil, low altitude, warm humid climate) are particularly conducive to the early ripening of the fruit, which permits the product to be present at an early stage on the Italian and foreign chestnut markets. Indeed, as market reports and lists testify, the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ actually opens chestnut marketing in Italy (excluding the production of Euro-Japanese hybrids). This is because harvesting in the PGI area, facilitated by the early natural fall of the chestnuts, generally ends at the time when it begins in all the other production areas, namely around the period between 10 to 20 October.

As the symbol of the local agricultural economy and the rural culture of the area, the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ also has a very long history behind it.

The presence of the chestnut in the Roccamonfina area dates back hundreds of years before Roman domination of the area. It was, however, in the Middle Ages, after the barbarian invasions, that chestnut cultivation became an essential part of the economy of the area and the livelihood of the local people. The main source of food in winter and in times of famine, the chestnut played a key role in the family life of the people in and around Roccamonfina. Its wood was used to make the roofing beams of houses, furniture and tools and was burnt in stoves and fireplaces. There are many historical references to the chestnut in the mediaeval period, mainly concerning transfers of ownership of chestnut orchards, enshrined in acts of succession and sale and decrees, many of which are still stored in the valuable archives and libraries found throughout the area. With the coming of the Angevins in 1270, the chestnuts of Roccamonfina also started to acquire commercial importance. The area was actually granted the privilege of a weekly market in autumn and an annual fair.

But the real, most popular story of the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’, passed down for centuries by the local inhabitants, began with the history of the most precious historical and religious site in the area, the Santuario della Madonna dei Lattani [Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Lattani], a religious complex surrounded by ancient chestnut woods, consisting of a Church, the Convento dei frati francescani [Convent of the Franciscan Friars] and the Eremitaggio di San Bernardino [hermitage of San Bernardino], which was already famous when the sanctuary was built. The legend tells us that Saint Bernardino, having come to Roccamonfina to pay tribute to a picture of the Virgin found by a shepherd boy in a nearby cave, planted a dry branch of a chestnut tree in the earth, which then sprouted leaves. The monks then grafted cuttings from the holy tree to nearby chestnut trees and this was the origin of the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfin’ according to the inhabitants.

Over the centuries, the interaction between the environment favourable to the chestnut tree and the ability of local farmers to select spontaneous ecotypes has enabled a rich socio-economic and cultural fabric to develop. In succeeding generations, producers have therefore cultivated this spontaneous forest product, improving it and spreading its name and reputation well beyond the immediate area.

The ever increasing importance of chestnut cultivation in the area over the centuries has been confirmed by laws and statutes issued from the late Middle Ages to modern times, which were concerned with protecting the communal use of chestnut woods, imposing very heavy fines on those who picked the fruit illegally or fraudulently, especially at the time of fall of the fruit.

The economic importance of the chestnut to the area was also confirmed in subsequent centuries by written records, not only local, such as ‘La Sede Degli Aurunci’ of 1737, which clearly shows the importance of the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’, above all as a valuable economic resource for the whole area.

It has been documented even more effectively by the market reports, which, since the mid nineteenth century, have recorded the selling price of Roccamonfina chestnuts, broken down into different varieties. These include the ‘Catasto Provvisorio del Comune di Marzano’ of 1834, which included among the types bought and sold in the municipality: … le Castagne Tempestive di Roccamonfina [... the early chestnuts of Roccamonfina].

And further historical and commercial evidence of the importance of the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ followed and has increased, in administrative acts, notarial acts of purchase and sale, market reports and works and technical articles and scientific reports on trials carried out in the area by expert researchers.

In the 80s and 90s of the last century, chestnut cultivation in the Roccamonfina area was known for its high level of innovation and assiduous and regular pruning. This is partly because the sale of the fruit is becoming increasingly profitable, especially in the late summer, when the roast chestnuts sold in big cities are almost exclusively ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’, known for its early ripening.

This is a fruitful period for promotion of the product, also carried out by institutions such as the Campania Region, the Province of Caserta and the Chamber of Commerce. The ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ has been mentioned in a number of publications since the 90s, where it is often described as one of the products of the typical basket of excellent agri-food products, also reflecting its economic importance: the’Guida su Roccamonfina e il Monte S. Croce’ of 1996’, ‘Campania Terra dell’Ortofrutta’ of 2003 and ‘Campania, luoghi, sapori, eccellenze’ of 2019, to name but a few.

The harvesting of chestnuts in this area, starting from late summer, has always been an event that, more than the economic report for a crop year, has marked the most important period of the year for the entire area. For a few weeks, Roccamonfina hosted the largest chestnut market in the entire province of Caserta, which was a unique event for the area. It dated back to antiquity (the early tenth century) and was held in the largest piazza in the area. From September to the end of October, all chestnut producers could offer their product for sale to traders in this historic piazza. The ancient ‘Mercato della Castagna’ market eventually became a festival, partly of a celebratory nature, extending all the way from a mass to give thanks for the harvest to local popular music and dance. The municipal authorities and tourist office understood the inhabitants’ wish to celebrate the harvest and the sale of chestnuts and in 1976 set up the ‘Sagra della Castagna di Roccamonfina’. This celebration has been held ever since then on the second Sunday of October, with the participation of all the surrounding area, and the inhabitants link to it their historical identity and their rural roots and traditions. The Sagra celebration has continued to develop over time and is now becoming a true ‘Mostra Mercato della Castagna’ [chestnut fair] as well as a traditional popular cultural and entertainment event.

The name ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’ has been in existence and use since time immemorial in historic artefacts and archival documents, posters for the Sagra celebration and scientific conferences and is also very much in use in commercial invoices and labels on fresh products and products derived from them. Today, with the new digital technologies, it is possible to find out all about this product on the internet: its history, its special features, its culinary use and how and where to buy it, also including authoritative reports from gourmet experts, chefs and traders. Books have been written on this product, including recipe books (‘L’Oro bruno di Roccamonfina’ 2019). Programmes on RAI such as ‘Linea Verde’ (broadcast on 16.9.2011), ‘Sereno Variabile’ (broadcast on ’8.04.2013), ‘Buongiorno Regione’ (broadcast on 4.10.2017), ‘Mezzogiorno Italia’ (broadcast on 22.11.2014), and on TG Regionale (in October almost every year), have frequently included recorded and live reports on the ‘Castagna di Roccamonfina’, especially during the harvest and the Sagra celebration. These are in addition to the many reports devoted to Roccamonfina and its Chestnut broadcast by various local television stations (TeleLuna, Tele2000, Antenna3, ReteSei, etc.).

Reference to publication of the specification

The full text of the product specification is available on the following Internet:

http://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/3335”

or alternatively:

by going directly to the home page of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy (www.politicheagricole.it) and clicking on ‘Qualità’ (at the top right of the screen), then on ‘Prodotti DOP IGP STG’ (on the left-hand side of the screen) and finally on ‘Disciplinari di Produzione all’esame dell’UE’.


(1)  OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.


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