Groves of ash trees used to cover thousands of hectares across northwestern Sicily. This wealth of trees has now been reduced to just 250 hectares in the municipalities of Pollina and Castelbuono, of which just 20 to 30% are still productive. During the summer, harvesters cut the bark of the trunks and a resinous, pale blue substance oozes out. Exposed to the hot sun, it forms white stalactites of manna. This is then collected using a “mannaruolu” to cut the manna, a “rasula” to scrape out the manna that has remained in the furrows of the bark, and a large prickly pear leaf, used to collect the part that has dripped on the ground.
Harvest from July to August, but available on the market year-round.
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PresidiumIn the 1950s, thousands of quintals of manna were exported or processed in Italian mannitol factories. Only vestiges of the industry survive, but it is still worth preserving for its important environmental and historical value. The Presidium unites several growers who have drawn up a strict production protocol, with the aim of improving harvesting techniques and obtaining a better-quality product, but also to protect consumers from the many frauds on the market. Only the purest manna, called the “cannolo”, is covered by the Presidium.
Castelbuono and Pollina Municipalities, Palermo Province
Presidium supported by
Sicilian Region’s Agriculture and Forestry Department
Via Gramsci, 49
Tel. +39 0921 672399 - 345 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. +39 320 email@example.com
Via Verga, 3
Tel. +39 339 6227668
Via Caduti in Guerra, 27
Tel. +39 329 firstname.lastname@example.org
Via San Giuliano, 36
Tel. +39 0921 425511-349 0941165
Via Giovanni Guzio, 37
Tel. +39 320 email@example.com
La Manna di Zabbra
di Valerio Onorato
Tel. +39 0921 910083-339 firstname.lastname@example.org