Hazelnuts and Almonds
The confectioner's delight!
Hazelnuts are traditionally grown on the island's eastern coast, mainly in the Ampugnanu, Casinca and Costa Verde areas. This geographical region falls within the" Noisette de Cervioni " IGP protected geographical category. No phytosanitary treatments or chemical fertilisers are used to grow them.
The "Noisette of Cervioni" is in not sharp or bitter at all. It has a simple, clean flavour. There is also a faint woodiness to its taste. These hazelnuts are aromatic and red in colour, with a strong raw sweetness. The dried almonds have a strong savoury flavour, rather akin to charred toast.
The Noisette de Cervioni is eaten like dried fruit as an aperitif or dessert. It is also used in the production of a wide range of products: cream, cooking oil, cosmetics, flour, chocolate and nougat... And lastly, it has been used to make the Fair Trade chocolate spread, "Nuciola " containing slivers of hazelnuts, and also Salinu, a condiment made from ground hazelnuts and organic salt.
Almonds are grown in very large traditional orchards in the Balagne region, as well as in modern orchards, which are mainly situated on the east coast and in the Nebbiu region. In early March, when the almond trees are in bloom, the whole regional landscape is swathed in a delicate shade of pink.
Corsica was the first region in France to produce almonds. Corsican producers fiercely uphold the quality of the almond varieties that grow on their soil, which have more taste than those in the rest of France and that are responsibly grown. A Red Label is in the process of being developed in order to guarantee the superior quality of this produce.
Almonds are used more widely in pastries and confectionery than as an everyday food stuff - fresh or dry. They are used to make canistrelli biscuits; nougat; calisson confiseries; sugared almonds; toasted, salted or sweetened almonds; powdered almonds and marzipan.