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Florence Box: Azienda Agricola La Fenice

From the lovely Lake Montelleri, surrounded by a park that lends itself to jogging and relaxation, we walk towards the center of the town of Vicchio, Giotto’s birthplace. A young couple opens the door to the workshop from which their delicacies are made. In Mugello, the chestnut has always been considered a product of great importance for the economy of the area: at first it was used for a large number of recipes and considered as an almost poor raw material, while today it has become of absolute value, so much so that it has obtained the certificate of Protected Geographical Indication. So it is that Valentina tells us how the ancient recipes have been a constant point of reference to be able to make the spreadable chestnut cream, a healthy and natural delicacy that comes exclusively from the woods of Mugello. It is here that her husband Andrea takes us to see for ourselves this precious natural product.

We drive along a road that stands out among the woods so narrow that the car passes barefoot between one curve and another, until we gain the upper part of this wooded area. Here a fairy-tale landscape opens up before our eyes, where along this steep terrain marronete trees follow one another, some grown in a completely natural way, centuries old, alternating with others grafted by man, creating orderly and rational rows. Here, where nature serenely coexists with the hand of man, one can perceive the vitality given off by these trees, while one can already glimpse the fruits that in October will be ready for harvesting. Then, on a table laid for the occasion, the chestnut cream will put everyone in agreement on its exceptional goodness.