• Food & Wine

Zucca Bertagnina di Dorno

Pumpkin growing in the Dorno area goes way back into the past and is based on the the ease with which it can be grown on these lands. Historically a pumpkin called Bertagnina was grown in the area. The name may derive from the words 'bartò' or 'bartòl', terms which mean beret in Dorno dialect. The flat caps worn locally by farmers look rather like the protuberances at the base of these pumpkins. With industrialisation the farming of this pumpkin was increasingly abandoned by producers as a result of its shape. On industrial production chains those protruberances led to too much waste. Over recent decades a number of local farmers have started growing it again with the support of the Dorno tourist office and Pavia University which recovered the pure seeds by means of a selection process. In 2003 the feast day of Dorno patron saint St Bartholomew - celebrated since the mid 19th century on the 24th of August - was moved to the second Sunday in October so that both wine and the fruits of the land such as pumpkins would be available to it. Thus the festival has taken the name Sagra della Zucca Bertagnina to give greater publicity to this traditional Dorno product. Over recent years it has met with great success and every year now thousands of pumpkin gourmets flood into the town in the second half of October for the festival. In 2012 the Bertagnina pumpkin was made part of the Hortus 2015 association which focuses on the relationship between architecture, agriculture and society. Production zone: The Zucca Bertagnina di Dorno production zone is Dorno town and the bordering towns of Alagna Lomellina, Zinasco, Pieve Albignola and Scaldasole, Garlasco


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