Roberta Ceretto, along with her father and uncle, bought a vineyard in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Quite by accident, they got a few acres of hazelnuts as a bonus.
The hazelnuts of Piedmont are said by some to be the best in the world. Roberta Ceretto says their orchard was a limited and very prestigious one. So, the family that harvest and sells wine, could either sell the orchard or gather them and make some thing out of them. The Ceretto’s first love is love is wine, but, candy ranks high with them as well. So, they decided to go into the candy business.
The Creation Of The Relanghe Company and Brand
They set up a small company called Relanghe, named after the orchard where their hazelnuts grow. They built a factory in Alba, a city known for its white truffles and the famous, Alba Cathedral. There were some skilled confectioners brought in to work at the factory. Inside the factory, the fresh hazelnuts were mixed with a nougat. They used a hand made process which is a tradition of the region. The delicious candy is 50 per cent Nocciole Piemonte (the great local hazelnuts), white cane sugar from Cuba, honey, a little vanilla, and some glucose.
The honey and sugar are cooked together for eight hours for the crunchy nougat and four hours for the soft. The hazelnuts are roasted, bagged, and chilled. They are kept cold until it is time to add them to the soft nougat. The cooked candy is spread and allowed to set. Then in one of the few machine operations in the factory, the candy is cut and packaged.
The company also produces a few other candies with hazelnuts, but nougat rules . The company will produce about one hundred tons of candy a year. They say with little fear of contradiction that it is made with the best hazelnuts in the world. Their confections can be obtained in the United States through Corti Brothers.
Love all things Hazelnut? Read all about The American Hazelnut Company here.