History has it that the famous “Marronata” chestnut jam was first produced around the year 1930 in Bardolino on Lake Garda. The award-winning “Cavalier Vivaldi” factory created the jam exclusively with chestnuts from Monte Baldo and particularly with DOP chestnusts (protected designation of origin) from San Zeno di Mantegna, which are considered to be the best in the world.

The delicacy was advertised with the following slogan:
“La distilleria premiata / del Vivaldi a Bardolino / fa squisita marmellata / col maròn montebaldino / e col chimico segreto / che imitarla fa diféto”
“The award-winning distillery / of Vivaldi in Bardolino / makes excellent jam / with Monte Baldo chestnuts / and a secret recipe / that is difficult to riproduce!”

Monte Baldo chestnuts, water, sugar and a pinch of vanilla are the ingredients for one of the most popular jams of all time! This is the recipe for making the jam at home:

  icon-cutlery Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg* chestnuts
  • 800 g sugar
  • 200 g water
  • 1 vanilla bean

  icon-cutlery Preparation:

Boil the chestnuts in lightly salted water for about 1 hour, then peel the chestnuts and remove the pellicle (leave the remaining chestnuts in the hot water so that they stay warm and soft as you peel). Reduce the chestnuts to a purée with a food mill and weigh the purée  (it should weigh about 1 kg). Put the purée, the sugar, the water and the vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring it slowly to the boil. Let it dry, until the paste has the right density. Remove the vanilla bean, add the rum and let it simmer for a few minutes. Put the jam into sterilised jam jars.

In the picture: Felicina Vivaldi, granddaughter of the founder, with original jam and spirit packages from the Bardolino factory.

* 1g = 0.035 ounces