Calvenzano Melon

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Lombardy

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

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Calvenzano Melon

Calvenzano is a small town in the Bassa Bergamasca, south of Bergamo, known for a melon variety that has been included in the germplasm bank for the protection of biodiversity held by the University of Valencia.
The Calvenzano melon has a thick, netted rind with a fairly pronounced stalk which is left attached to the fruit during harvest. The fruit can reach very large dimensions, weighing between 2 and 6 kilos, and is oval in shape. The flesh is dense and sweet, with a beautiful warm orange color and a heady fragrance.
The melon has continued to be cultivated over the years by the historic Calvenzano Agricultural Cooperative, founded in 1887 and the third-oldest in Italy. The fruit can be found listed in its records since the 20th century and according to the oral accounts of the oldest members it had a fundamental importance in the local economy, with farmers able to make enough from its cultivation to buy the land they were working.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the melon’s fame spread internationally, and during the Belle Époque, the melons were shipped from this small town in the Bassa Bergamasca straight to the best restaurants in Paris. In the 1930s, they were even sent to the summer residence of the British monarchs, and according to some members, the cooperative received a certificate of appreciation from the royal family.
The harvest takes place in July, with peak production lasting 10 to 15 days. Due to its lower sugar content and short harvest time the variety has suffered from competition from modern melon varieties. These modern varieties have been selected to obtain sweeter and sweeter fruits and their longer harvesting period makes them commercially more attractive.

Season

It is available fresh in July, processed, all year around

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Calvenzano’s production cannot compete with the quantities produced by the industrial giants in the area, principally the farms around Mantua, among the most important in the country for the production of orange-fleshed melons. But since 2002 the members of the Calvenzano Agricultural Cooperative have begun planting the variety again, after an initial six seedlings were germinated thanks to a farmer who had kept a few seeds. Now there are hundreds of plants, producing a few dozen quintals of melons. With the Presidium, production has increased, involving other growers in the area who have planted the historic local melon using seeds provided by the cooperative, which will further increase the production of fresh melons. A share of the melons is also turned into preserves and liqueurs.

Production area
Calvenzano municipality and surroundings, Bergamo province

Presidium supported by
Slow Food Bassa Bergamasca Convivium
Growers
Castel Cerreto
Via Crippa, 9
Treviglio (Bg)
Tel. +39 389 1647981
coop.castelcerreto@gmail.com

Ettore Fontana
Via Misano, 14
Calvenzano (Bg)
Tel.+39 333 4005859
aziendafontana.e2020@gmail.com

Vegeta
Largo Pirmo Maggio, 1
Treviglio (Bg)
Tel. +39 347 9983090
vegeta.orto.srl@gmail.com

Transformer
911
Via dell’industria, 16
Casirate d’Adda (Bg)
Tel. +39 329 2151704
amministrazione@sassellafood.com
Presidium Producers' Representative
Emilio Lombardi
Tel. +39 338 9585651
vegeta.orto.srl@gmail.com


Slow Food Presidium Coordinator

Barbara Schiavino
tel. +39 338 1112402
bschiavino@me.com

Calvenzano’s production cannot compete with the quantities produced by the industrial giants in the area, principally the farms around Mantua, among the most important in the country for the production of orange-fleshed melons. But since 2002 the members of the Calvenzano Agricultural Cooperative have begun planting the variety again, after an initial six seedlings were germinated thanks to a farmer who had kept a few seeds. Now there are hundreds of plants, producing a few dozen quintals of melons. With the Presidium, production has increased, involving other growers in the area who have planted the historic local melon using seeds provided by the cooperative, which will further increase the production of fresh melons. A share of the melons is also turned into preserves and liqueurs.

Production area
Calvenzano municipality and surroundings, Bergamo province

Presidium supported by
Slow Food Bassa Bergamasca Convivium
Growers
Castel Cerreto
Via Crippa, 9
Treviglio (Bg)
Tel. +39 389 1647981
coop.castelcerreto@gmail.com

Ettore Fontana
Via Misano, 14
Calvenzano (Bg)
Tel.+39 333 4005859
aziendafontana.e2020@gmail.com

Vegeta
Largo Pirmo Maggio, 1
Treviglio (Bg)
Tel. +39 347 9983090
vegeta.orto.srl@gmail.com

Transformer
911
Via dell’industria, 16
Casirate d’Adda (Bg)
Tel. +39 329 2151704
amministrazione@sassellafood.com
Presidium Producers' Representative
Emilio Lombardi
Tel. +39 338 9585651
vegeta.orto.srl@gmail.com


Slow Food Presidium Coordinator

Barbara Schiavino
tel. +39 338 1112402
bschiavino@me.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionLombardy