Marron Glacé: an all Italian delicacy

Wild chestnuts have been known to Man since the times of ancient Greece. Xenophon, Virgil, Apicius and Galen all exalted their nutritional properties and their flavor 

Marrons glacés are an ingredient in many desserts and are also eaten on their own

However, it was the chef of Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoia, who invented this little gems of sweetness, marrons glacés, sometimes towards the end of the 16th century. Their recipe was published for the first time much later, in 1766, in the culinary treatise Il Confetturiere Piemontese.  

Marron glacé is a confection, originating in northern Italy consisting of a chestnut candied in sugar syrup and glazed

Marrons glacés must be made only with the best chestnuts which, yesterday as today, come from Cuneo.  

 

During the Middle Ages, chestnuts became the most important food for Alpine people, probably because monastic communities had worked hard to improve their cultivation in the mountains.   

Marrons glacés must be made only with the best chestnuts which, yesterday as today, come from Cuneo

As a consequence, it was considered “a food for the poor” and was largely avoided in the kitchens of the nobles and the rich. It is in those times that a selection of the best chestnuts began: they were round, lighter in color, sweet and called “marroni.”   

 

Preparing marrons glacés is neither quick nor simple: chestnuts must soak in water for 9 days, then cooked with sugar and vanilla and, lastly, candied for a week.  

 

...And let us finish with a touch of Piedmontese charme: there is nothing better than having marrons glacés with sweet, scented, candied violet petals

 

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

Superstar chef Massimo Bottura: knowing the past to shape the future of Italian cuisine

A slice of cod placed on julienne-sliced vegetables, served in a squid ink broth and topped with a sprinkling of powdered seaweed and sea urchins...

Impress the guests: timballo di riso con melanzane

Aompany coming? Impress your guests with a spectacular timballo di riso, a Sicilian dish named after the mold in which it is typically made. The...

A slice of Tuscany: schiacciata con l’uva

If there is one reason to be be excited that summer is ending, it's the appearance of freshly baked schiacciata con l'uva in the windows of local...

Who cares if they’re ugly, they’re delicious! I Brutti ma Buoni

The word biscotti in Italy refers to what Americans know as “cookies.” Many Italo-Americans use the word biscotti when they refer to a specific type...

A taste of summer: pomodori arrostiti

Finally the summer heat has yielded a delicious crop of tomatoes – plump heirloom, sweet cherry, meaty San Marzano. I wait patiently all season for...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues