Hazelnuts, sugar and egg white. In these three simple ingredients blended together in precise proportions lies the secret of the "Nocciolini di Chivasso". More than a hundred years of tradition for the delicious drops that have delighted the palate of many but that only a few are capable of producing. The old Dolciaria Fontana, set up in 1965 and guided since 1997 by Anna Maria Genisio, is one of these few.
The unmistakable pink bag and the trademark depicting Chivasso Cathedral are a guarantee of the quality and genuineness of these small "nuggets", which populate the shelves of confectioner's shops in Piedmont and other regions, too.
Prepared strictly by hand, the nuts are produced following a traditional procedure: having carefully shelled and toasted the hazelnuts, they are mixed with sugar and egg white. When the mixture has a pouring consistency, it is poured into a machine that distributes small buttons ready to be put in the oven onto sheets of paper. Once cooled, the delights of Chivasso are ready for packing.
From history we learn that the "Nocciolini di Chivasso" were invented back in 1810, when the master confectioner Giovanni Podio joined the hazelnuts of Piedmont with the other two ingredients, thus obtaining the magical mixture. But, in 1904, it was Nazzaro, his son-in-law, who registered the patent at the Trade Ministry of the Kingdom of Italy, under the original name of "noasetti", and, in 1900 and 1911, presented them at the trade fairs of Paris and Turin, respectively. The enterprising confectioner, who abandoned the original tin container in favour of the traditional pink bag, was appointed "Royal Family supplier" by Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy. The Fascist period swept away their foreign name and replaced it with the Italian name "Nocciolini".
The Dolciaria Fontana in via Ivrea 31 has inherited this ancient tradition, dedicating itself to the production of the "Nocciolini di Chivasso" and the hazelnut cake, thus becoming an ambassador of the unique, unmistakable taste of the products of Chivasso.