The castagnaccio is a typical dessert made with chestnut flour, raisins, pine nuts, walnuts, and rosemary.
Chestnuts can be found in Northern Italy regions such as Veneto, Piedmont, Lombardy, and Tuscany, that’s why it is a bit hard to say which is the real origin of the castagnaccio. Each region still offers its own version and recipe.
Initially, it represented the meal of poor farmers who only had chestnuts available in their rural areas. Although the Tuscan food is now considered fancy, the castagnaccio was born as a poor meal, because everybody could go and pick up chestnuts in the wood and make flour out of it. According to others, the origins can be found in the Ancient Rome, where a chestnut bread was made out of coarsely ground chestnuts, and stuffed in travellers and workers’ bags.
Many considered this cake an elixir of love: the young man able to eat the cake offered by a girl would have immediately fallen in love with her and asked to get married.