Hazelnuts from Piedmont – just another nut?
Definitely not! Just like our famous and top selling Pistachio, Rivareno offers an intense and unique hazelnut flavour that you won’t find in any other gelateria. Here we explain why.
Hazelnut is a very common flavour which you will find in any Italian gelateria. Hazelnut holds a special place in every Italian’s heart, a classic flavour that will never go out of fashion.
At Rivareno we are particularly proud of our hazelnut gelato because of its intensity.
Significant research has been done to bring you the Rivareno Nocciola Piemonte pure hazelnut flavour and we will share with you some of our secrets in this article.
Many of our flavours contain this precious ingredient in their recipes but the secret as to why it is so good is due to these three important points:
Firstly, we use a variety of hazelnut called “tonda gentile trilobata” which refers to the round, three-lobed hazelnut. It is cultivated in just a few zones of Piedmont in hilly areas or mountainous foothills of the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato. The hazelnuts Rivareno uses come from Alta Langa, over 400m above sea level near the town of Cortemilia, in the province of Cuneo. Because they are grown on hill tops, they receive significantly more hours of direct sunlight. The greater the exposure to the sun, the greater the taste and sweetness of the fruit.
The second secret is how they are roasted. Rivareno selects the hazelnuts each year, deciding on how they should be roasted. A fine quality hazelnut does not need to be excessively roasted to release its full aromas. Other inferior varieties do require this extra roasting. However, at Rivareno we have tried various grades of roasting before we finally selected the one that we were happy with which produced the best results! Similar to roasting coffee beans, roasting hazelnuts is a fine art, and requires significant skill and experience.
The third secret is how this quality hazelnut is ground into a smooth paste, in a similar way peanut butter is made. The process is relatively simple, going into a series of grinding machines, then through a series of pans which use extreme vibrations to separate any impurities from the nut paste. The result? A super smooth paste. So smooth that you cannot detect even the smallest of pieces – it is a smooth, dense liquid.
The gelato flavours that contain this hazelnut are: Nocciola Piemonte (obviously!); Bacio (creamy chocolate with hazelnut from Piemonte, and whole roasted hazelnuts); GranTorino (dark chocolate with hazelnut from Piemonte, pink Himalayan salt and crushed roasted hazelnuts); Contessa (crema (egg – custard) based gelato with hazelnut from Piemonte, almond from Sicily, caramelised almonds and crushed amaretti biscuits) and the list goes on…
Good hazelnut flavoured gelato is very hard to come by. At Rivareno, Nocciola Piemonte is one of our permanent popular flavours – and it is for good reason. In addition to the smoothness of the hazelnut nut paste itself is the velvety smooth texture of our gelato, which you won’t find anywhere else.
Now you know what is involved and the lengths we go to in obtaining such an amazing top quality gelato flavour.