Bella di Borgo d’Ale Peach

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Piedmont

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

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Bella di Borgo d’Ale Peach

The Bella di Borgo d’Ale peach, often simply called “Bella,” is an heirloom variety of white-fleshed peach closely linked to the history of peach-growing in Borgo d’Ale. The skin of the round, medium-large fruit has a pale green-whitish background and a reddish-pink top color. The flesh is white with reddish streaks in the center, very fragrant and aromatic in the mouth, and comes away easily from the pit.
The peach is cultivated in a mostly flat but also slightly hilly area of northeast Piedmont, straddling the provinces of Vercelli, Biella and Turin. The ecosystem has an unusual microclimate and soil characteristics, thanks to the proximity of Lake Viverone, the Serra di Ivrea (Europe’s longest moraine hill, covering 20 kilometers) and many waterways.
Peaches began to be grown around here in the 1920s, and by 1930 peach orchards already covered 115 hectares. The on-going expansion of the crop pushed the local administrator to request the establishment of a seasonal fruit and vegetable market. As a result, the Borgo d’Ale market was started in May 1932. Peach growing became a source of employment and prosperity for many families. In 1937, when peach orchards covered over 380 hectares, two events connected the town even more firmly to peach cultivation: the introduction of a new variety, the Bella di Borgo d’Ale peach, and the establishment of an annual peach festival. Production continued to grow in the following years. In 1950, 40,000 quintals were being produced, and by the mid 1970s the harvest was up to 100,000 quintals, of which around 10% were Bella di Borgo d’Ale. A gradual decline then began, however, as farmers switched to larger peach varieties with more attractive coloring and characteristics better suited to the market, like consistent productivity, good storage and tolerance of handling. This was exacerbated by a reduction in the productivity of the Bella (not a very self-fertile variety), due to the abandonment of historic varieties of pollinating white peaches. The surface area of the Bella orchards was reduced little by little, until commercial cultivation was completely stopped in the first half of the 1990s.
The revival of the variety began in 2016, with the planting of first 55 and then another 500 saplings obtained from the grafting of the last 20 to 30 trees. The typical low “vaso basso” training system is used, which allows for good illumination and good aeration and makes it possible to prune, thin out and harvest all from the ground.
The peaches are excellent eaten fresh, on their own or in fruit salad, perhaps with a splash of DOCG Erbaluce di Caluso wine. Due to the variety’s delicacy and limited ripening season, part of the harvest is transformed into compotes, jams and juices. The Bella is also used in ice creams and many other desserts like traditional baked peaches, stuffed with cacao and amaretti.

Season

Harvested between the end of July and the start of August. The fruit can be found year-round in the form of compotes, jams and juices.

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The Presidium grew out of the desire of a few small-scale farmers to save the native Borgo d’Ale peach variety from extinction, given its symbolism as a link between the town’s agriculture, land and history.
As well as advancing sustainable agricultural practices, which ensure the health of the soil and biodiversity conservation, the Presidium also encourages products made using techniques that respect the Bella di Borgo d’Ale peach’s sensory characteristics. It also wants to raise awareness among consumers, restaurateurs, ice cream makers and pastry shops so that they choose a fruit with an extraordinary flavor that represents local culture and identity, thus supporting small-scale farming businesses.
The Presidium is working to ensure this ecotype can again be a fundamental element of the local agricultural economy and, more generally, a reference point for the social life of Borgo d’Ale and the surrounding towns.


Production area
Borgo d’Ale, Alice Castello, Cigliano and Moncrivello municipalities, Vercelli province; Viverone, Biella province; Cossano Canavese and Maglione, Turin province.

Supported by
This project is funded by CAF America thanks to the generosity of FedEx
Producers

Az. Agr. Neato Daniele
Via Cella, 92
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 349 5891822
daniele.neato@libero.it
www.agroselva.it

Daniele Canta
Via Don Evasio Ferraris, 37
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 335 7372221
daniele.canta@gmail.com

Alessandro Fiuscello
Via Livorno, 5
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
fiusceal87@gmail.com

Pier Giuseppe Fiuscello
Via Don Evasio Ferraris, 12
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 320 1940047
fiu.azagr@alice.it

Gian Mario Loggia
Viale dei Gracchi, 22
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 349 3298428
loggiagianmario@alice.it

Monfruit
di Giovanni Fasciola
Via Vische, 6
Moncrivello (Vc)
Tel. +39 338 4548354
giovannifasciola@icloud.com

Francesco Regis
Via Maglione, 36
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
agromicregis@gmail.com

Società Agricola Cima s.s.
Via Trompa Lunga, 7
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 333 7630061
gabrielecima90@gmail.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Gabriele Varalda
Tel. +39 348 7979672
ilfidu@libero.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Paolo Caldera
Tel. +39 347 3900413
p.caldera@tiscali.it
The Presidium grew out of the desire of a few small-scale farmers to save the native Borgo d’Ale peach variety from extinction, given its symbolism as a link between the town’s agriculture, land and history.
As well as advancing sustainable agricultural practices, which ensure the health of the soil and biodiversity conservation, the Presidium also encourages products made using techniques that respect the Bella di Borgo d’Ale peach’s sensory characteristics. It also wants to raise awareness among consumers, restaurateurs, ice cream makers and pastry shops so that they choose a fruit with an extraordinary flavor that represents local culture and identity, thus supporting small-scale farming businesses.
The Presidium is working to ensure this ecotype can again be a fundamental element of the local agricultural economy and, more generally, a reference point for the social life of Borgo d’Ale and the surrounding towns.


Production area
Borgo d’Ale, Alice Castello, Cigliano and Moncrivello municipalities, Vercelli province; Viverone, Biella province; Cossano Canavese and Maglione, Turin province.

Supported by
This project is funded by CAF America thanks to the generosity of FedEx
Producers

Az. Agr. Neato Daniele
Via Cella, 92
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 349 5891822
daniele.neato@libero.it
www.agroselva.it

Daniele Canta
Via Don Evasio Ferraris, 37
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 335 7372221
daniele.canta@gmail.com

Alessandro Fiuscello
Via Livorno, 5
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
fiusceal87@gmail.com

Pier Giuseppe Fiuscello
Via Don Evasio Ferraris, 12
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 320 1940047
fiu.azagr@alice.it

Gian Mario Loggia
Viale dei Gracchi, 22
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 349 3298428
loggiagianmario@alice.it

Monfruit
di Giovanni Fasciola
Via Vische, 6
Moncrivello (Vc)
Tel. +39 338 4548354
giovannifasciola@icloud.com

Francesco Regis
Via Maglione, 36
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
agromicregis@gmail.com

Società Agricola Cima s.s.
Via Trompa Lunga, 7
Borgo d’Ale (Vc)
Tel. +39 333 7630061
gabrielecima90@gmail.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Gabriele Varalda
Tel. +39 348 7979672
ilfidu@libero.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Paolo Caldera
Tel. +39 347 3900413
p.caldera@tiscali.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionPiedmont