What’s in a Name: Alta Langa Hazelnuts

The most iconic hazelnuts in the world come from Italy. They come from Piemonte’s micro-area, Alta Langa. These hazelnuts are the most perfectly formed and flavorful hazelnuts on the planet.

Ok great. So, what is the name of these hazelnuts? Ha! Well, that is more complicated than you would think.

Colloquially they are known as Alta Langa Hazelnuts. That’s what we call them on gustiamo.com, for example.

The IGP hazelnut variety from Alta Langa, Piemonte was known officially for a very long time as Tonda Gentile. But then, due to bureaucracy and weird copyright rules (we will spare you the details), Piemontese farmers could no longer officially refer to their precious variety as Tonda Gentile. At some point, there was a movement to call them “IGP Piemonte” and then to call them “Tonda Gentile Trilobata.” Trilobata was a clever solution because in fact, these hazelnuts have 3 very distinct lobes. But alas no, that name did not stick.

It looks like we have a winner, however. Just the other day they announced the name: Langarola Classica-nocciola storica dell’Alta Langa or just Langarola Classica for short. The name of the consortium protecting these hazelnuts is Consorzio di tutela Langarola Classica-nocciola storica dell’Alta Langa. They chose this name because it embodies both the “coltura e cultura;” the [agri]culture meaning, both the farming and the local tradition!