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Slow Food Italian Presidia


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Cureggio and Fontaneto Blond Onion

Piedmont

Close to Novara, in the plain between the Agogna and Sizzone rivers, lie the towns of Cureggio and Fontaneto, once known for the cultivation of potatoes and onions. According to tradition, the local producers would go to the Cureggio train station every day to send crates of their onions to the markets in Milan and Turin.
The traditional onion from the Cureggio and Fontaneto plain is golden-blond in color. Up to 8 centimeters wide, it weighs between 150 and 400 grams and has a distinctive flattened shape. Its essential characteristic, however, is its extreme sweetness, which remains for many months after harvesting.
The onion has a very long growing cycle. The seeds are sown in a seedbed in February, the seedlings are planted out in May and the onions are harvested from August on. Once harvested and dried in the sun, they can keep until the following spring.
As well as being used as a base seasoning for many dishes, a number of local dishes feature the onion as the main ingredient. The recipes have been passed down through the generations, and include peasant soup (water, a pinch of salt, butter or lard and minced onion), onion frittata (with wedges of onion or the unripe bulb, called scigulòtt), frittata rognosa (with the addition of duja salame), rustìdӓ (pork loin and offal cooked in onions, prepared when a pig is slaughtered), cassola and a classic onion soup.
These days, the areas where the onion is grown have been reduced by surrounding infrastructure construction and industrialization. Many local residents have abandoned agricultural activities and onion growing has come close to disappearing for good.

The original seed was collected by a pair of young farmers from some local elderly growers who had maintained tradition by continuing to cultivate the onion in their vegetable plots. Thanks to them, the onion seed was reproduced and now a group of new producers is starting to again grow the blond onion in the fertile land around the two towns. The Presidium’s objective is to provide an alternative source of income for the local people and again promote the onion as in the past, cultivating it in an environmentally sustainable way and ensuring it is sold for a fair price. Thanks partly to the work of the Fontaneto d’Agogna tourist board and its members, the seed is being collectively reproduced and distributed in order to encourage new farmers in the area to revive the onion’s cultivation.

Production area
Cureggio and Fontaneto d’Agogna municipalities, Novara province

Presidium supported by
Pro Loco Fontaneto d'Agogna, Municipality of Cureggio, Municipality of Fontaneto d'Agogna, Banca Popolare di Novara
Cooperativa sociale onlus “Lavoro malgrado tutto”
Borgomanero (No)
Via Gozzano 7/B
Tel. +39 0322 831140
lavoromalgradotutto@gmail.com

Carlo Masseroni
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via Croce 1
Tel. 0322 890088

Paola Platinetti
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via Baraggia
Tel. +39 329 1668684

Roberto Pelosini
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via S.Martino 30
Tel. +39 0322 89891

Luigi Platini
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via S.Ambrogio Cacciana
Tel. +39 0322 89219

Eraldo Teruggi
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via Cavaglio 4
Tel. +39 0322 89232

Paola Recchia
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Località Storni 2
Tel. +39 347 9553186

Simona Cerri e Oscar Temporiti
Cureggio (No)
Via Gramsci 68
Tel. +39 0322 839088

Savio Teruggi e Giuseppe Valsecchi
Fontaneto d’Agogna (No)
Via Mazzini 38
Tel. +39 0322 89487

Mattia Giustina
Cureggio (No)
Via Prosmini 39
mattia.giustina@hotmail.it
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Giovanni Iacolino
Tel. +39
340 7691682
slowfood_valsesia@libero.it

Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Carlo Masseroni
Tel. +39
338 8501263
carlo.masseroni@alice.it

 


 
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