Noceto dei Sospiri, where the nocino is born

From the walnut trees cultivated at the Noceto dei Sospiri comes the liqueur based on the infusion of walnut husk, used as a digestive and for the preparation of desserts in the kitchen

One hundred and fifty walnut trees have their roots in the prosperous land of the Tenuta del Cigno farm, home and nourishment of precious vineyards and fruit trees. 

Here the strong hands of our farmers, accustomed to the harshness of the countryside, planted the vigorous walnut trees to give life to the "Walnut Grove of Sighs”, From whose fruits the famous Nocino is obtained. A full-bodied liqueur, obtained from an infusion of walnut husk, used on the tables at the end of a meal as a digestive.
The recipe in our family is secret, jealously guarded by the women of the family, but one thing is certain: all ingredients are 100% natural and high quality.
Our Nocino is then aged in precious oak barrels kept inside the ancient vinegar cellars where the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP slowly lingers. The result is a liqueur with a harmonious flavor and an intense aroma. 


The origins of the Nocino liqueur 

The walnut represents one of the oldest fruit trees known and cultivated by man, thanks to its majestic size and high longevity. It is also a very popular tree for its beauty and its great ability to cast shade.  

The fruits of the walnut tree can be eaten fresh or dried: when they are still green and unripe they are used to make walnut. 

Photo by shahab yazdi on Unsplash

The origins of this liqueur are uncertain. We read on wikipedia: “It is known that there are versions of walnut liqueur in many European countries, from Italy, to the Urals, to England. Ancient Roman documents report that the Picti, that is, the Britons, gathered in the midsummer night and drank a dark walnut liqueur from the same chalice. Subsequent sources report that a liqueur de brou de noix or ratafià di mallo was in use among the French. Probably from France he entered Italy, spreading first in the Sassello area and then in the Modena area. The walnut always maintained an aura of legend, linked to the presence of witches and spells, which was communicated to the preparation of the liqueur. Traditionally, in fact, the walnuts were harvested on the night of San Giovanni by the most expert woman in the preparation who, climbing the tree barefoot, detached only the best walnuts by hand and without affecting the skin.
Their preparation ended on All Saints' Eve, that is, on the night of October 31st. In the collection, tradition asks not to use iron tools. The metal, in fact, would affect the properties of medicinal plants. It is a fact that vegetables cut with a metal blade oxidize earlier and wither faster than those cut, for example with a ceramic blade. The custom is still very old and the druids were already following it, picking the mistletoe with a golden sickle ". (source: wikipedia). 


In the kitchen: the nocino cake


The nocino is a excellent digestive.
Its intense scent of husk and its high body make it particularly suitable to be consumed at the end of a good meal. It is also absolutely worth trying poured in small drops over a cream ice cream, or inside the coffee to correct it. 

We suggest it to you to realize the Nocino cake: here is the recipe that you can follow to make a particular dessert that will be highly appreciated, with a slight alcoholic note. If you have a homemade Nocino, don't hesitate to use it!

Ingredients Nocino Cake 

  • 300 grams of 00 flour
  • 150 grams of sugar 
  • 150 grams of butter
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 sachet of baking powder 
  • 4 small glasses of Nocino liqueur
  • chopped loose nuts


Preparation
Melt the butter in a bain-marie and mix it slowly with the sugar, until the mixture is soft and frothy. Add the sifted eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix well with a spatula, always with the same movement from top to bottom, and check that no groups have formed.
Add the liqueur and some chopped walnuts. Mix well and pour the mixture into the pan. 
Bake at 180 degrees in a static oven for 40-45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool before cutting it. Sprinkle the surface with icing sugar and decorate with walnut kernels. 


Together with the walnut trees in our estate we also grow: pomegranate trees, mustard, grapes, organic Lavender di Modena® and aromatic herbs: santolina, marjoram, dill, chervil, coriander, burnet nut grass, borage, marjoram, Cuban telea oregano, thyme, lemon balm, rue, dwarf sunflower, Brazilian stevia, luigia herb. 

If you are interested in our walnuts and to know the spaces of our estate, contact us by writing an email to info@tenutadelcigno.com or call 059 465063 (Monday / Friday 09/13 - 14.30 / 18)

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