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Italy: Unique conditions make for a special pepper

PDO Peppers from Pontecorvo grow near the Monti Aurunci Natural Park in southern Ciociaria, where the Liri valley meets the land of San Benedetto.



This area is located in the Frosinone province and includes the towns of Pontecorvo, di Esperia, S. Giorgio a Liri, Pignataro Interamna, Villa S Lucia, Piedimonte San Germano, Aquino, Castrocielo, Roccasecca and San Giovanni Incarico. The alluvial origin of the soil, its chemical-physical characteristics, good fertility as well as the abundant rainfall and proximity of the sea, make it possible to grow a very tasty niche product.

Azienda agricola Rocca is located in Esperia (FR), which is where the ecotype was identified and recognised as PDO on 11th November 2010.


In the photo, Isabella Rocca in a pepper field. The product has been recognised as PDO in 2010 and, over the years, has become an integral part of the local economy. 

In addition to peppers, the company also grow vegetables such as aubergines, broccoli, courgettes, pumpkins and green beans as well as cereal and feed crops.



The leading products are the PDO peppers, also known as "cornetto di Pontecorvo", which are truly unique thanks to their red colour and characteristic oblong shape. Harvesting is carried out by hand in mid-July and mid-August and continues until October. 

The skin and flesh are thin, the flavour is sweet and mineral salt content is rather high. The peppers are also easily digestible, so they definitely stand out against similar products.

"We grow aubergines, courgettes, pumpkins, green beans and broccoli using integrated cultivation techniques. We almost exclusively employ products of natural origin."

"The entire range used to be destined to local markets apart for small quantities, which I used for our family." 

"In 2007, I decided to create a small area where I process the produce according to traditional recipes, without adding acidity regulators or preservatives. My idea is to supply customers with products that are not in season and, at the same time, to use surpluses."



"Each jar is different, exactly as it should be with everything that is natural. But I do carry out strict inspections along the chain. Traceability and retraceability systems must be implemented for all phases, from cultivation to processing and packaging."

Spreads and patÚs are made using raw material that have just been harvested, which is then sorted and processed following traditional recipes, with the sole addition of extra virgin olive oil. They can be seen as a modern version of a traditional preserve.



Azienda Rocca grows its vegetables in open fields according to the season. The produce is then processed on the same day it is harvested to preserve its aroma and flavour. 

Compared to what is sold as fresh produce, the quantities processed are minimal and are destined to be sold directly, in delicatessens or online.

Processing is carried out entirely at Azienda Rocca, in dedicated areas equipped to ensure the production of a good product with intact organoleptic qualities.  



Each phase is carried out in a sterile environment with modern equipment - from sorting to slicing, cooking, grilling, packaging and down to sterilisation. All according to natural methods and traditional local recipes.

"Our main objective is for our products to arrive directly in the hands of consumers, not only to enable our customers to purchase an excellent product at competitive prices, but also to shorten the chain and favour a direct relationship between producers and consumers. It is with great pride that I can say we managed to combine three aspects that don't often go together - appearance, flavour and healthiness - therefore meeting the demands of our clients."

Contact Information:
Azienda Agricola Rocca

Badia di Esperia (FR)
via Campovezzuni, 15
Mob.: (+39) 338 9530767
Email: info@aziendarocca.it
Web: www.aziendarocca.it

Publication date: 3/16/2017

 


 

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