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Carmignano nel cuore della Toscana
Marrying in Carmignano


Fichi secchi
Slow Food Garrison

The dried figs Carmarthen are one of the local products, niche production, listed among the 455 local products protected by the region of Tuscany.

From the very distant past, in the Tuscan countryside, the fig tree was farmed almost exclusively as a promiscuous cultivation and it has always had a connotation of a family business. However, in some areas of the Province of Prato, this ancient Mediterranean plant has been and is still cultivated quite intensely, often associated with grapevines and olive trees, for a production directed not only to family consumption, but also towards the outside. This is the case of Carmignano, where an industry for the production of dried figs developed very popularly in the markets.

The varieties grown in the past in this area were undoubtedly more numerous than those of today, like the variety “Dottato”, the white fig which is really apt to the process of drying and by having excellent organoleptic characteristics it is suitable for fresh consumption. However, thanks to such a family tradition, a number of varieties has still preserved to these days, generally without genetic improvement activities.

Paleobotanical findings in the village of the Gran Carro (X-IX century B.C.) close to Bolsena lake, Blera, Tarquinia and Volterra confirm that the Etruscans cultivated figs (Ficus carica) and made dried figs. In Volterra’s sanctuary, in the acropolis, fig seeds found in the offerings have made scholars hypothesize that the divinity the structure was dedicated to may have had many characteristics in common with Demetra of the Greek world because figs were one of her favourite offerings. In fact, Pausania wrote that Demetra offered this “late summer fruit that humans call figs” to King Fitalo to thank him for his hospitality after she had searched for her daughter on the Eleusi plain.

Etruscans must have also known and consumed other fruits:

the pear, which has been found in the paleobotanic remains in Blera;

the cherry, introduced from Greece. A very red and flavourful variety was imported around the I century B.C. by a certain Apronius, who originally came from Perugia;

the pomegranate, which originally comes from the south west regions of Asia and was probably introduced to Etruria from Carthage, which gave it its name Punica granatum. The oldest finding come from Tomb A in Casale Marittimo, dating to the antique orientalising period (720-670 B.C.) The pomegranate was a symbol of prosperity and fertility, but it was also linked to the world of the afterlife: Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demetra, was condemned to spend a third of each year with Hades, god of the underworld.

the hazelnut, relatively common in archaeological findings (for example, has been found in the previously cited Tomb A in Casale Marittimo, Tarquinia and Blera), very nourishing and easily conserved;

the melone, which is believed to come from the Orient. Seeds classified as akin to the melon or the cucumber have been found in Tarquinia.

Comune di Carmignano - phone 055 875011