In Carnia it’s known as Per Martin, in Carinthiia as Klotzen, or Doerrbirne, while in the valleys on the Slovenian side of Italy’s eastern border, they call it Tepka. It probably isn’t a single variety at all but rather a population of pear trees.
The fruits can only be eaten after being allowed to overripen after the harvest, thus changing their consistency, color and flavor. Once this process has been completed, the pears may be dried.
In the old days, the majolica stube, or kitchen stove, ensured the constant warmth necessary. Alternatively, the pears were arranged on trellises and placed in special wood dryers. Whatever the system used, it is important for the warmth to reach the core of the fruit since it is dried whole, not in slices.
The dried pear can be eaten as it is or ground to flour or crumbled to make pear bread. Refreshed in water, the pear pulp is combined with ricotta to become the main ingredient in the filling for klotzennudeln or cjarsons, ravioli. In the valleys, klozen pear juice, perry, brandy and liqueur are still widely produced.
A few exemplars of this pear tree survive in the area in which the borders of Friuli, Carinthia and Slovenia converge. They do not grow on plantations but on farmland or uncultivated land. During work on the building of the railroad at Camporosso at the end of the 19th century, an avenue was constructed lined with the pear trees, which can still be seen today, a century later.
The Presidium’s aim is to preserve this biodiversity by counting, cataloguing and protecting surviving trees, and also by planting new ones. It has also set itself the target of processing the fresh fruit to produce the likes of dried pears (as a filling for klotzennudeln or cjarsons), perry, liqueurs and brandy to drive a form of economic development combining tradition, landscape and sustainable tourism.
In Italy: the communes of Tarvisio, Malborghetto-Valbruna, Pontebba, Dogna, Chiusaforte, Resiutta, Resia and Moggio Udinese.
In Austria: the municipalities of Dellach, Gitschtal, Arnoldstein, St.Stefan im Gailtal, Kirchbach, Koetschach-Mauthen and Hermagor-Pressegersee
Friuli Venezia Giulia Region