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Jean-Dominique FRANCHI

PDO chestnut flour

Visits : October to April.

Regions : Dui Sevi-Dui Sorru - Cruzini - Cinarca

Categories : Around the olive tree and the chestnut tree

Agricultural sectors : Oliu di Corsica, Corsican chestnut flour

A Santaghja
20150 Ota

Cottage industry equals family and passion!

We’ve come to the heart of Corsica's regional natural park, not far from the Gulf of Porto, in the tiny, picturesque and very private village of Ota. This is where Jean-Dominique Franchi spoke with us, sharing his passion for his chestnut and olive plantations. With help and guidance from his parents, he succeeds in producing very high quality produce (his chestnut flour was selected twice at the Fiera di a Castagna in Bocognano and was also presented at the Paris agricultural show).

His chestnut trees grow on the mountain slope a small distance up towards Renno. They bear a small, dark, bulging, extremely tasty Corsican chestnut variety called the Ghjentile. These are carefully picked by hand over a period of about ten days (seven kilos of fresh chestnuts will make two kilos of flour), and then dried for twenty-five days inside a small drying house, where a chestnut fire is lit for the duration. Following that, they are hulled, sorted and quality checked before being placed in a wood oven, giving the chestnuts their colour and delicately perfumed flavour. They are finally taken to the watermill situated in the village of Cuttoli and the end result is a fine, delicately perfumed PDO-certified flour.

Jean-Dominique and his nephew, Antoine-François – a young and passionate farmer, who will eventually take the business over – together produce small quantities of a highly authentic, soft and flavoursome olive oil. You can taste all of the above produce at their restaurant, Chez Marie, in Ota - which is named after Jean-Dominique’s mother, and where you will be greeted by his sister, Victorine. A bona fide family operation!

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