The valleys of the Upper Tanaro lie to the southeast of the province of Cuneo, a borderland linking the Langhe and the western Ligurian coast and crossed by historic transit routes.
The varied landscape here rises from the gentle curves of low-lying hills to the steeper, more rugged slopes that lead up to the Alpine peaks, amidst which one can still make out traces of terraces that were once supported by a dense network of drystone walls.
The valleys are well known to keen hikers, mountain bikers and climbers, and an extensive underground system of caves, many still unexplored, attracts speleologists from around the world. But their gastronomic and enological heritage is what truly represents the area’s hidden treasure.
This is the home of paste di meliga, the famous biscuits made with Otto File cornmeal, recognized as a Slow Food Presidium. Here you can visit the best artisanal bakeries, discover the secret of this ancient tradition and meet people whose families have been producing them for generations.
You can also meet the Chestnut Custodians and find out about how they are bringing together tradition and innovation to save the invaluable local forests, using sustainable solutions and the promotion of the chestnut, an ancestral symbol of the local culture and economy. Other typical specialties include polenta saracena, made with potatoes and buckwheat, a grain that arrived in these valleys with the Saracens during their raids at the end of the first millennium, as well as leeks, Nucetto chickpeas, Bagnasco white beans and deliciously sweet Caprauna turnips, another Slow Food Presidium. Not to mention Ormea, a cow’s milk cheese produced in the summer in pastures at altitudes above 900 meters.