Cipolla bionda di Cureggio e Fontaneto
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The municipalities of Cureggio and Fontaneto are located in the plain between the rivers Agogna and Sizzone, in the province of Novara, north-west of Italy, half way from Turin and Milan. The presence of numerous springs, a moraine and sandy soil makes this land fertile and rich in hummus, especially suitable for the cultivation of onion.
In the last century the producers of the area went every day to the railway station of Cureggio to send their boxes of onions, strictly marked with the name of the station of origin, destined for the markets in Milan and Turin. In the course of time and due to a significant shift from agricultural production to industrial production during the economic boom years, the onion gradually disappeared.
Thanks to the thesis of an American student, the dedication of some young farmers, the commitment and coordination of the Proloco association of Fontaneto d’Agogna, they gradually started growing it, thus making it the first Slow Food Presidium in the province of Novara in June 2013.
Nowadays the Bionda Onion of Cureggio and Fontaneto is strictly cultivated on the territory of the two municipalities by about twenty small producers, formed in the association “La Bionda di Cureggio e Fontaneto”, according to rules and regulations being agreed in compliance with Slow Food Italian Presìdia Ofce.
The onion is golden-yellow in colour, has a medium-large size and a slightly flattened round shape. Its fundamental characteristic is the extreme sweetness and the low acidity that, combined with a wealth of tastes, renders it dainty and particular.
The onion has a very long growing cycle. Sowing takes place in nurseries from December to February during the waning moon, transplanting in April/May and manual harvesting in July/August, and once collected and dried in the sun, it can be kept for a few months.
Its sweet and harmonious taste is exalted in the typical dishes of the local country tradition cuisine, above all cooked with meat in the rustìdä, in the frütùra and in the tapulòn.
The Presidium producers group is united in the “La Bionda di Cureggio e Fontaneto” Association: Agriturismo La Capuccina, Maura Barcellini, Simona Cerri and Oscar Temporiti, Silvio Colombi, Massimo Tullio Delle Donne, Giorgio Fontaneto and Domenico Severico, Carla Galli, Mattia Giustina, Carlo Masseroni, Paola Platinetti and Stefano Barbaglia, Luigi Platini, Ivano Platini, Paula Recchia, Aiman Riahi, Eraldo Teruggi, Pietro Luigi Teruggi, Savio Teruggi and Giuseppe Valsecchi, Stefano Zanetta.
Carlo Masseroni is the contact person for the presidium producers and president of the producers’ association, Luca Platini is the Slow Food director of the presidium, while Eraldo Teruggi is the association’s commercial marketing manager.
The group participates in various events in the area especially during the seasonality of the blonde onion, that is to say in the months of September and October, contributing together with the Pro Loco of Fontaneto and the Slow Food Condotta delle Colline Novaresi to the organization of the Fair, an event that expected that every year on the third weekend of September it attracts many gourmets, families and passionate seekers of typical products to the center of Fontaneto. The Fair this year was held in compliance with anti-Covid protocols, involving a network of 24 restaurants in the area that in those days put the blonde on the menu.