The centuries-old chestnut trees around the area of Rogliano are the natural context from which the production chain of Alpa Calabria starts, a company specialized in the processing and tran-sformation of agricultural products with particular reference to chestnuts. Started by the Gualtieri family, today it has become a leading reality for the Calabrian chestnut supply chain, gathering a-round itself a large part of the chestnut growers of the region who harvest the fresh product then transformed into a wide range of goodness.
A sixty-year old long history
From the first company steps started by Clorinda Gualtieri’s father, CEO, up to now three genera-tions have followed one another in the management of the company in full compliance with the ori-ginal philosophy: respect for the territory and enhancement of the quality that today have allowed the brand Alpa to be present in the large-scale distribution channels and European markets. Over the last fifteen years it has gradually expanded its business and today the company also produces a wide range of jams, creams and preserves. Approximately 5.000 quintals of product are processed each year, 2.000 of which refer to the sterilization plant and the other 3.000 being processed in the drying department, operating according to regulations designed to maximize the naturalness of the product and food safety.
The value of the chestnut for the territory
Chestnuts have always represented a “very important value” for the regional and Italian territory, says Maria Marsiglia, marketing manager of Alpa Calabria, with a “long tradition that begins with the processing of the plant to get a good product to be transformed in an artisanal way but also from an agri-food point of view ». The chestnut bread, also called “bread of poor people”, was one of those foods that were found on the peasants’ table. Used more than cereal, considered expensive, the chestnut flour was used “to feed families”. From the Middle Ages up to nowadays, therefore, the product is present on the table of Italian people and the organic path, started in 2016 by the company, has allowed the enhancement of the nutritional and orgonoleptic properties in the food chain.
The touch of novelty
The production chain thus wanted to enhance an element of the food tradition by offering the atten-tive consumer a touch of novelty. So, in addition to the roasted chestnuts in the Alpa range you can find chestnut flour, fresh pasta, creams and gourmet proposals such as the latest born, roasted chestnuts with bergamot. Now the goal is to create a “consortium allowing private individuals – adds Clorinda Gualtieri – to be part of the network and give us the opportunity to have a greater quantity of local product to be exploited”. Gluten-free, full of fiber, carbohydrates and iron, it deals with a product with extensive properties among which, in collaboration with the CNR, its uses in the aesthetic field are being studied by exploiting the peel, without losing anything of a poor food but with great versatility