Seal of quality
Seal of private and/or trades nature
Potato planting, although widespread in every environment, finds its ideal habitat in mountainous areas. In fact, here the loose soils and cool climate, on average rainier, favour this plant’s requirements and make it possible to have regular cycles of cultivation and tuber growth. Furthermore, mountain cultivations are usually of a less intensive nature, frequently utilising manure instead of chemical fertilisers, and weed killing is often mechanical or manual but not chemical. At certain altitudes, there are also less parasitic diseases and adversities and/or less virulent, for which it is possible to reduce or annul treatment altogether. On the other hand, the minor intensity of the cultivation carried out on soils on average less fertile than those on tablelands, if a lower yield is involved, enhances the organolpetic characteristics of mountain potatoes, resulting, moreover, in better storing capacities. Therefore, we can understand why these potatoes are-sought after by producers and why this cultivation has been maintained, even if with lower yields. Potato growing has been particularly maintained in certain medium and low mountain areas, where the cultivation has found its perfect environment.
This is the case for the area at the foot of Mount Bisalta , where the farmers have set up a consortium for the protection and development of the product cultivated here. Only potatoes produced on farms situated in the established area can bear the quality seal issued by the consortium.
Today, modern varieties of different origins are grown. Tubers are different according to variety, and differ in shape, size, colour of the peel and pulp. Moreover, depending on the variety, potatoes differ according to their cooking suitability (fried, boiled, for gnocchi and mashed). In this sense, consumers buying potatoes should ask for information on the aptitudes of the varieties, according to what they will be used for, in order to obtain the best possible quality characteristics of every single variety.
Rich in carbohydrates, the potato is also a source of vitamins – above all vitamin C – and mineral salts, potassium in particular, so precious for muscle tone. It contains antioxidant and diuretic properties and is suitable for those suffering from circulatory problems. Moreover, it is more digestible and less caloric than one would normally think: 85 calories per 100g. Unfortunately, it tends to greatly absorb dressings and this is why it has always been banned from low-calorie diets
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Area of production
The production area concerns the area at the foot of mount Bisalta , i.e. the Gesio, Vermenagna and Pesio valleys. Its epicentre is in the Commune of Boves.
The potato, the botanic name of which is Solanum tuberosum, belongs to the Solanacee family, like tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, that arrived in Europe with the discovery of the Americas , but, at least in Italy and in Piedmont in particular, its cultivation began to be developed only in the 19 th century. It spread rapidly, mainly to satisfy the food requirements of most of the population in that period: speaking about cultivatedland, the potato was the crop that guaranteed the highest yield and, therefore, was a frequent part of the traditional diet instead of cereals.
Potato growing spread especially in mountain areas where the potato, called “bodi” in the Occitan dialect, or in some areas also “trifola”, “tartifla” or “tartifola” because of its similarity to the rare truffle, started being used daily, almost more than chestnuts and polenta. As far as variety is concerned, new ones are currently being planted, although in some cases there is an attempt to bring back old selections.