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Typical products: the Paniere Pavese

The Pavese Breadbasket full of characteristic local products is an umbrella logo which encompasses a series of inclusive characteristics designed to bring all Pavia province's agricultural and agri-food produce into the fold in accordance with the following technical and scientific criteria:

  • they are craft products made by local producers and businesses;

  • they are part of historical local traditions and adequate documentation exists to show this;

  • they are made from local raw materials including native varieties;

  • they have local development potential.

These have been set up by the following product associations: Bertagnina pumpkins from Dorno, Borlotti beans from Gambolò and Berrettina pumpkins from Lungavilla, custodians of product regulations and their logos. Other product associations are currently being set up together with the Associazione Paniere Pavese which brings all products together.

Peperone di Voghera

The Voghera bell pepper is a fine native variety which merits special attention for its special flavours and aromas. It has a powerful aroma and tastes sweet and delicate as a result of its high sugar and low water content and is thus easy to digest. In the early 1950s a disease put it at risk and it was only in 2006 that Voghera bell pepper farming returned thanks to the work of a scientific council and partnership between academic bodies, agricultural institutes and Voghera area farmers. The Voghera bell pepper is a precious ingredient in the preparation of the sauces (bagnetti) which are eaten with boiled meats and is excellent in risottos and the famous peperonata, a tasty dish made of peppers cut into chunks.

Pizzocorno

This square shaped cheese with a powerful and intense aroma was called after a small village - part of Ponte Nizza - in the heart of the Staffora valley. It is a cow's milk cheese made from whole, unpasteurised milk working from an evening and morning milking. The mixture is placed in square forms and dry salted. It is then aged forty days and is white and crumbly with powerful aromas and flavours. It is sweet tasting with a very mild acidic vein, mildly aromatic and sometimes has an aftertaste of truffles. This delicious cheese is ideal in a great many recipes from Pizzocorno risottos, rosemary and Pizzocorno focaccia or simply with pears which it goes beautifully with. Production zone: Pizzocorno, Ponte Nizza

Salame di Varzi D.O.P.

Salame di Varzi is the name of a salame made exclusively in the Oltrepò Pavese area. The microclimate deriving from the meeting between the air of the Po plains with sea air is excellent for salame curing. Production zone: Varzi

Salame d’Oca ecumenico

Gourmet culinary product from Lomellina in Pavia province, Mortara IGP goose salame is made from recipes which vary locally because those making it jealously guard the ingredients they use. It is made into a salame using goose skin because the regulations ban the use of artificial casings and it must also be sewn up by hand. Elongated cylinder in shape, salame d'oca, an attractive crimson colour, is 30-40 cm long, 7-8 centimetres in diameter and weighs from 600 to 900 grams. The name Ecumenico derives from the fact that it could be eaten by the followers of the three monotheist religions - Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is made exclusively with lean goose meat hand cut and stuffed into goose neck casing by hand together with natural flavours, salt and pepper.

The Lungavilla Berrettina Pumpkin

Pumpkin farming is an integral part of the agricultural traditions of the Po plains. In the Lungavilla area pumpkins have been farmed for many centuries. Berrettina pumpkins are specific to Lungavilla. They are turban shaped, not too large, pale greenish-blue in colour with a strong flavour and ideal for both sweet and savoury recipes. The local community has decided to dedicate its Festa di Sücc to this pumpkin in a festival which brings the whole town together in celebration on the 8th of September every year. The festival took its name from the fact that pumpkins are usually placed outside houses for the duration of a procession which makes its way through the town during the festival. This pumpkin called 'berrettta' (beret) was once probably commonly grown across the Po plains but changing tastes and dietary habits made it progressively rarer. This is a phenomenon which has also affected the Lungavilla area where the variety was saved only thanks to the farsightedness of the few growers who conserved the seeds from year to year. From 2007 onwards the town council has sponsored a project to recover the traditional Berrettina variety. From the starting point of producers' seeds, the volunteer Gruppo Promotori della Zucca Berrettina association, in partnership with Ente Nazionale Sementi Elette in Tavazzano (Lodi), has launched research aimed at recovering the original features of the variety. Parallel with this project, on the first Sunday of October a food festival called La Festa dal Capè da Prèvi dedicated to Berrettina pumpkins is held in Lungavilla. Production site: The Zucca Berrettina di Lungavilla production zone is the town of Lungavilla and those around it including Pizzale, Verretto, Montebello della Battaglia and Castelletto di Branduzzo

The Bertagnina Pumpkin from Dorno

Pumpkin growing in the Dorno area goes way back into the past and is based on the the ease with which it can be grown on these lands. Historically a pumpkin called Bertagnina was grown in the area. The name may derive from the words 'bartò' or 'bartòl', terms which mean beret in Dorno dialect. The flat caps worn locally by farmers look rather like the protuberances at the base of these pumpkins. With industrialisation the farming of this pumpkin was increasingly abandoned by producers as a result of its shape. On industrial production chains those protruberances led to too much waste. Over recent decades a number of local farmers have started growing it again with the support of the Dorno tourist office and Pavia University which recovered the pure seeds by means of a selection process. In 2003 the feast day of Dorno patron saint St Bartholomew - celebrated since the mid 19th century on the 24th of August - was moved to the second Sunday in October so that both wine and the fruits of the land such as pumpkins would be available to it. Thus the festival has taken the name Sagra della Zucca Bertagnina to give greater publicity to this traditional Dorno product. Over recent years it has met with great success and every year now thousands of pumpkin gourmets flood into the town in the second half of October for the festival. In 2012 the Bertagnina pumpkin was made part of the Hortus 2015 association which focuses on the relationship between architecture, agriculture and society. Production zone: The Zucca Bertagnina di Dorno production zone is Dorno town and the bordering towns of Alagna Lomellina, Zinasco, Pieve Albignola and Scaldasole, Garlasco

The Breme Red Onion

The first mention of Breme Red Onions dates to the 10th century, to the period in which the famous abbey which became one of the most important in Europe was founded. It was right here in the vegetable gardens of Breme abbey that the monks began growing a type of onion which has been subject to many selections but is still a precious example of biodiversity. Breme Red Onions are deep red in colour, flattened in shape and large weighing 600-700 grams and sometimes even more than 2 kg. The first onion growing consortium was set up in Breme in 1943 with 200 members growing this onion on 20 hectares of land. After a decade of crisis, in 1982 the Breme Red Onion Festival was set up to promote and safeguard red onion farming. It is a successful event which has relaunched farming and given thousands of visitors the chance to enjoy its sweet and crunchy flavour which is ideal for many dishes such as omelettes, salads, risottos, soups, savoury flans and meat and fish sauces. Production zone: The Breme Red Onion production zone is exclusive to one part of the Breme area.

Gambolò Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans have been farmed for centuries in the Gambolò area and its immediate surroundings (the most important evidence dates to the early 19th century) and it was the main source of proteins for all those who could not afford to eat meat regularly. Following on from a decline in production over recent decades a project designed to recover borlotti bean farming was set up involving reproducing the pure seeds and distributing them to those interested in growing them. The first Gambolò Borlotti Bean festival took place in 2000 and is now very popular, attracting thousands of visitors to the town. In 2006 the Gambolò Borlotto Bean variety was recognised as a traditional Lombard product. It is now regulated by production regulations which encompass farming methods and traditional harvesting. Production zone: Gambolò and the towns around it such as Garlasco, Borgo S. Siro, Vigevano, Tromello, Mortara, Cilavegna, Parona, Gravellona and Cassolnovo.

Molana

Molana is a raw milk soft cheese made fresh (15 days ageing) and slightly aged (20-40 days) with whole, pasteurised cows' milk in Pavia province in the Alto Oltrepò Pavese area. Production zone: Alto Oltrepò Pavese

Miccone

Miccone is a characteristic bread local to the Oltrepò Pavese area (Stradella and Broni contest the 'true' miccone crown) with a crunchy crust and compact, soft crumb. It can be kept for several days. The secret is the flour - which must be top quality - and lengthy working which ensures correct leavening and ideal baking. It is naturally the perfect accompaniment to many local Pavia province products. Production zone: Oltrepò Pavese bread

Cencerate Potatoes

In Brallo di Pregola every second Sunday in September, a Potato Festival has been celebrated for decades with stalls and local products, lunches in the square of gnocchi and culinary specialities made with Brallo potatoes before a ceremony which awards prizes to farmers growing the largest and most 'artistic' potatoes. This fine quality potato is still farmed in small quantities and is one of the products which is to be included in the Pavia Breadbasket collection. Production zone: Brallo di Pregola

The Cilavegna Pink Asparagus

Grown for more than five hundred years in the large agricultural area around Cilavegna, the ideal soil for this asparagus is the light sandy soils of the area It has white spears with purple tips and is soft and fragrant tasting. It is harvested from March to May and sold in bunches. After purchase asparagus should be keep in a cool, damp place and are best eaten soon before they go soft. In May every year Cilavegna is the site of a very lively Asparagus Festival involving an important market show, banquets and product tastings. A huge asparagus omelette is made in the square together with many other folklore events. Well known and used since antiquity asparagus (asparagus officinalis) has therapeutic and anti-oxidant properties. The softer part is also used in make up. Production zone: Cilavegna

Brasadè di Staghiglione

Every year at Easter in Staghiglione, a Borgo Priolo village, the Brasadè Festival takes place to celebrate these nineteenth century origin ring cakes made with flour, sugar, butter and lard, first plunged into boiling water and then baked until golden in a wood oven, Brasadè are sold in necklaces according to tradition. Each necklace is made up of eleven ring cakes joined together with a cotton cord through their centre holes. This packaging system has remained the same for decades - five ring cakes are tied on with the flat side facing one direction and the other five with the flat sides facing in the opposite direction. The eleventh ring cake is used as a block and the two ends of the necklace are tied to it. Necklaces made in this way are hung on the opposing ends of the 'block' ring cake so that the flat sides of the cakes all face downwards. Production zone: Borgo Priolo, Staghiglione village

Varzese Breed Meat

The Lombard cattle breed has Tortinese, Varzese, Ottonese, Cabellotta and Montana variants with natural differences in coat. It is small in size but strong and resistant and has been farmed in the area since Roman times as the region's only native breed. It was once used a beast of burden in the rice paddies and for pulling ploughs and carts and played an important role in many traditional town fairs. The Varzese breed with its characteristic pale coat (Fromentino) takes part in the Varzi fair on the first Sunday in August. A protected product since 2010 for the purposes of bringing breeders together, these Varzesi cows have declined from 40,000 to only 200 head of cattle in the last fifty years. They are now protected in agricultural areas where work is underway to safeguard the breed and create a milk production chain. The cattle are farmed in the open air as long as weather permits and fed with local hay and fodder with the addition of corn and barley and regulated strictly in order to guarantee meat quality. Production zone

Bagnaria Cherries

Bagnaria cherries play an important part in the active traditions of this Oltrepò Pavese town which is a member of the important Città delle Ciliegie national association. For more than forty years now, on the second and third Sundays in June, a famous fair has taken place in which cherry farmers present fine products to visitors which include traditional Durone cherries as well as Canada, Vignola, Spagna and Napolèon varieties. Visitors can also try excellent cherry risotto accompanied by local wines and take part in the Ciliegia d'Oro award ceremony, a prize which is awarded each year to individuals who have marked themselves out in the cherry farming sector. Production zone: The Staffora Valley

Voghera Golden Onions

The Production Consortium's sources show that golden onions were already being grown in the 19th century in the Voghera countryside. Yields are good and they are resistant to the main diseases. The onions are still farmed in the Voghera agricultural area and the towns around it. Voghera golden onions are spinner shaped and slightly flattened with a diameter of around 6 cm and an intense golden colour. Flavours and aromas are pungent and savoury. They are cultivated in soils in which cereals were previously grown and harvested in summer. They can be kept the whole winter and lend themselves well to stuffing, omelettes and baking. Production zone: Voghera golden onions are farmed in the towns of Voghera, Casei Gerola, Silvano Pietra, Montebello della Battaglia and Pontecurone.

The Cherries

Bagnaria's famous cherries have led to it joining the Associazione Nazionale delle Città delle Ciliegie.

Breme

Breme's gems encompass Abbazia di San Pietro, a crypt and baptistery, Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta and Chiesetta di Santa Maria di Pollicino. A range of NATURE TRAILS and a Romanesque route which take in Lomello and Vlezzo as well as Breme are to be found here. Breme red onions, a local product which can be tasted from June to September, are grown here.