Luigi Fenaroli: a point of reference for those who love chestnuts

We are in the right time of year to enjoy chestnuts and if you are a lover of this particular fruit you can’t not know the great Luigi Fenaroli.

This article speaks in particular to those who love chestnuts and consequently should know Luigi Fenaroli, great agronomist and Italian botanist who has listed the following types of chestnuts: Carpino, Ciria, Lojola, Montan, Neiranda, Brown, Pastinese, Brandigliana , Alotta, Lizzanese, Agostana, Rossera, Bellina, Biancola, Winter, Raggiolana, Valcamonica, Verdesa, Frombola, Pistolese, Torcione.

He is a reference figure especially from 1968 to 1974 … In this period of time, he was responsible for the management of the Forest Research Institute and the Alpine farming in the city of Trento. His works are very closely related to the fantastic world of chestnuts, in particular the one of 1946 called “Il Castagno” and that of 1941 by the name “Le castagne”, which lists the various aspects, food and economic, linked to the chestnut.

Are you ready to discover the benefits  and values ​​spoken of by Luigi Fenaroli?

He was a famous Italian agronomist and botanist, known for carrying out numerous scientific expeditions for the “Real Italian Society of Geographers”, which led him to Angola and the Amazon.

Precisely in the year 1946 he was entrusted with the direction of the Experimental Station of corn agriculture, in which he directed an experimental plan on American hybrids, which were introduced in Italy after World War II.

Between 1968 and 1974, he was the director of the new experimental institute for forestry and alpine farming in the city of Trento.

Among the various works he published, there are two that closely concern chestnuts, that of chestnut, in 1946, called “Il Castagno”, and that of 1941 by the name “Le castagne”. In this last work he lists the different aspects of chestnuts, from the economic to food.

He  indicates how important this fruit is for mountain populations, though it is a well-accepted food in any area of ​​Italy.

He talks about how it is a starchy and sugary base richer in fat than wheat flour and that would be enough for sustenance for man.


Its food value comes from its chemical composition, which varies according to type and depending on the season.

On average, the composition of chestnuts is composed of:

• 8% of teguments

• 40% water

• 25% starch

• 19% sugars

• 8% fat

• 3% cellulose.

Of all these components, 45% is converted into sugars, predominantly sucrose and glucose.

While one of the best known derivatives, namely chestnut flour, is composed of:

• 14% water

• 40% starch

• 29% sugars

• 8.3% nitrogenous substances

• 3.4% fat

• 2.8% cellulose

• 2.5% ash.

In this same work, in addition to listing the substances that make up this fruit, Fenaroli indicates which are the most delicious and best known dishes that use chestnuts and the ways in which they can be cooked.

He suggests: roast chestnuts, glazed or boiled chestnuts.

Some of the dishes he talks about  are: chestnut soup, milk chestnut puree, sweet chestnut fruit, chestnut omelette, chestnut vegetables, onions stuffed with chestnuts and mushrooms, chestnut chocolate cakes or chestnut ice cream.

 As you can see, this is a fruit that can be eaten at any time of the year, depending on its use in the kitchen, and in so many dishes: from first dishes, with soups, cakes, chocolate or even ice cream .

In addition, the tree itself is used in all its parts: from the wood, to the bark, from its leaves and flowers bees create the “brown honey”.

Fenaroli also listed and indicated which types of chestnuts there are: Agostana, Alotta, Bellina, Biancola, Brandigliana, Carpina, Ciria, Frombola, Invernizza, Lizzanese, Lojola, Brown, Montan, Neiranda, Rossera, Torcione, Valcamonica, Verdesa. For sure this is why the Italian botanist is also worthy of mention.

In some cases it is very difficult to know some types because many names derive from the dialect of the place where that particular variety grows.

Now that you know one of the most important Italian agronomists, what do you say about discovering another prominent figure in this field?

If you liked this article, you will also enjoy this read: The chestnut museum: here is all the useful info!

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