Pistoia is located 30 km from Florence & surrounded by hills & mountains filled with chestnuts trees, that’s why at the present they are full of these seasonal fruits that I really love!
In the past chestnut trees were called : “bread trees” , just because from these small versatiles fruits – colesterol free + high source of proteins – the farmers could obtain an energetic flour to prepear many different kind of courses : from a tasty soup or a kind of crêpe called “necci” filled with fresh ricotta cheese( this too made in Pistoia with fresh sheep milk ) or a “castagnaccio “as this one.
For this reason was called bread : it could replace it when there wasn’t nothing to eat , especially during the war..
Free chestnuts to be found in the forest & then to be roasted in a special little house called “metato ” where was a small fire to keep alive night & day by all the people in the village.
When the fruits were dried they went to the mill to make the flour to be kept in a special wood board , well closed ! to avoid the humidity & to be used with parsimony for all winter .
Here you could see some of my photos took in a small village just few km away from Pistoia , Montagnana , where they still have an old and still in use , metato that was just working when I visited it.
The castagnaccio is just a cake made with chestnuts flour , water & some milk,a pich of salt ,pinenuts,wahlnuts ,some raisins , extra virgin oil , rosmarin and …that’s all!
no sugar no yeast , gluten free and so tasty !!!
Excellent paired with ricotta cheese and a glass of Vin Santo dessert Tuscan wine and smile to winter time😍😍😍