Dried Atessa Reale Fig

Italy

Abruzzo

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

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Dried Atessa Reale Fig

The town of Atessa has a long history, dating back to the Roman period, and archeological excavations have shown that figs have been grown here for millennia. In particular, the Reale (“royal”) variety, appreciated for at least two centuries, is perfect for drying. According to some historians, in 1320, Robert of Anjou, who ruled the Chieti and Lanciano area at the time, even imposed a tax on the dried figs produced in Atessa and traded by sea. The harvesting and drying period ranges from the middle of August to the end of September, depending on the weather. The Reale variety can be white- or red-fleshed and is slightly spherical, with a pale greenish-yellow skin and very juicy, honey-flavored flesh. The fruits are picked by hand in the early hours of the morning, one at a time, with a slight rotation of the fruit in order to keep the stalk intact. They are then laid on traditional drying racks made from small canes (cannizzi) tied together. They can be dried whole or partially cut in half, but they should not be completely opened up. Exposed to the sun during the day, covered by a net to keep insects off, in the evening they are stored somewhere sheltered and dry, to prevent humidity problems. This goes on for several days, until the figs are dried but still soft to the touch. At this point they are cut and stuffed with a walnut kernel, closed and baked for around 10 minutes. Once cool, they are again stored with bay leaves somewhere dark and dry. They are used as ingredients in several recipes: cookies, desserts, jams, but also breads and meat and fish dishes.

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Season

The fresh figs are harvested at the end of summer. The dried figs are sold after October 4 every year.

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Atessa’s celebrated figs had an important market until 40 years ago, before industrial development in the Sangro Valley in the 1970s and ’80s sent agricultural production into crisis. Now a few young people have decided to revive the ancient tradition of growing and processing the figs, and the Presidium wants to support their work. These five producers, united in an association, have imposed a protocol that regulates cultivation (without chemical weedkillers or synthetic fertilizers), harvesting, drying and when the figs can be sold (not before October 4).

Production area
Hills in the Atessa, Torino di Sangro, Archi, Perano and Paglieta municipalities, Chieti province

Presidium supported by
Gal Maiella Verde
Concezio Candeloro
Atessa (Ch)
Via Benedetto Croce,5
tel. 320 0286044
concezioc@alice.it

La Ruelle
di Lucia di Cintio
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Piana Matteo
Tel. 333 3623968
luciadicintio@libero.it

Marco Rossi
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Piana dell’Edera, 27
Tel. 0872 850390 - 339 1689872
marcorossi1576@virgilio.it

Sergio Silvestri
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Sciola
Tel. 329 6874861
sergiofrutta@libero.it

Tenuta Sant’Antonio
di Roberta Del Vecchio
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Solagna Longa
Tel. 327 1392980 - 328 3879002
info@tenuta-santantonio.com
Responsabile Slow Food
Manola Cascante
Tel. 349 8421993
manolacascante@yahoo.it

Referente dei produttori
Vincenzo Menna
Tel. 339 1710276
ficorealediatessa@gmail.com
Atessa’s celebrated figs had an important market until 40 years ago, before industrial development in the Sangro Valley in the 1970s and ’80s sent agricultural production into crisis. Now a few young people have decided to revive the ancient tradition of growing and processing the figs, and the Presidium wants to support their work. These five producers, united in an association, have imposed a protocol that regulates cultivation (without chemical weedkillers or synthetic fertilizers), harvesting, drying and when the figs can be sold (not before October 4).

Production area
Hills in the Atessa, Torino di Sangro, Archi, Perano and Paglieta municipalities, Chieti province

Presidium supported by
Gal Maiella Verde
Concezio Candeloro
Atessa (Ch)
Via Benedetto Croce,5
tel. 320 0286044
concezioc@alice.it

La Ruelle
di Lucia di Cintio
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Piana Matteo
Tel. 333 3623968
luciadicintio@libero.it

Marco Rossi
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Piana dell’Edera, 27
Tel. 0872 850390 - 339 1689872
marcorossi1576@virgilio.it

Sergio Silvestri
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Sciola
Tel. 329 6874861
sergiofrutta@libero.it

Tenuta Sant’Antonio
di Roberta Del Vecchio
Atessa (Ch)
Contrada Solagna Longa
Tel. 327 1392980 - 328 3879002
info@tenuta-santantonio.com
Responsabile Slow Food
Manola Cascante
Tel. 349 8421993
manolacascante@yahoo.it

Referente dei produttori
Vincenzo Menna
Tel. 339 1710276
ficorealediatessa@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionAbruzzo