When I lived in Italy many years back, Carla used to make crema di marroni – “marmellatos castañeros” as they said, or chestnut marmalade/cream/spread as we’d say here. Made with pureed chestnut, vanilla and sugar, it is one of the most delicious treats your mouth can savor. I’ve made it at home a few times over the years, but find I no longer have the patience to cook and peel the chestnuts. I’ve bought the Clement Faugier chestnut puree a few times as well, but was never really satisfied with its results. I’d all but given up on finding a worthwhile jar of the manufactured varieties until I saw this jar of Agrimontana crema di marroni on a carton at Buon Italia in Chelsea Market, which I visited with Chicca earlier this month.
Turns out Agrimontana, located in Cuneo, where so many of Piemonte’s finest food products are made, is known for their candied chestnuts – marrons glacés. A closer look into their website reveals that they’re quite passionate about the traditional ways that they cultivate and harvest their chestnuts. Local. Organic. As it should be. They even tell you their philosophy should also be yours. No shame in telling it like it is, I guess. They’ve been around since 1972; now a part of the Illy Group, I guess that’s why I’m seeing their products on my American shelf. I wonder if anyplace in Philadelphia carries Agrimontana products?
Maybe I’ll be able to buy crema di marroni at Eataly, whose New York store is finally opening to the public on Tuesday. It’s located in the Troy Building at 200 Fifth Ave. between 23rd and 24th streets. I *SO* wish I were going to be there for the opening events! I cannot wait until my next trip up to the big city on September 10!! Who wants to join me?
This blog began with a photo and post about Eataly. I’ve spent the past three years wishing it were opening in Philadelphia. Maybe it’s time for me to move to Manhattan?