Agresto di Carmignano: a journey through time between tradition and authentic flavour
Agresto is an Italian condiment with ancient origins, it is said that it was already known by the Etruscans and in ancient Rome, to then be widely used in medieval cuisine and in the Renaissance courts, not only in Italy but also in France.
Prepared with unripe grape must, cooked together with vinegar, honey, onion, garlic and various spices, its warm dark red colour, its complex aroma and particular taste, a delicate contrast between sweet and sour, have decreed its success making it, over the centuries, a common element on the tables of rich and poor.
A TRADITIONAL CONDIMENT
Despite the passage of time, the tradition has remained, particularly in the regional and country kitchens of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, where it was the farmer’s habit to pick extra grapes to keep for himself from the master’s vineyard, and use them to prepare the condiment. The expression was “far l’agresto” and from there (it seems) the way of saying “far la cresta” was born.
Since 2009, Agresto has obtained the recognition of PAT (Traditional Agri-Food Product) by the Tuscany Region. Recognition as a PAT is an important sign of protection of the tradition and gastronomic culture of the area, and guarantees that the production of the product takes place in an artisanal way that respects tradition, with the use of high quality raw materials.
Currently, it is produced continuously by only a few companies, including ours, which thus preserves its authenticity and tradition.
Like every peasant family of the past, even today each of these companies has its own recipe with small variations that distinguish and characterize its own Agresto.
To produce our Agresto di Carmignano, we started from an old recipe recovered from the bottom of the drawer of one of our aunts, we tried it, customized it, refined it, until we reached the result that we believe to be the best and that many of you appreciate today .
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
The production of Agresto di Carmignano begins during the summer, towards the end of July and the beginning of August, with the harvesting of the immature grapes, at the moment of veraison (the phase in which the leaves of the vine begin to change color and fall, while the grapes increase in size and go from green to yellow, orange or red, depending on the variety of grape) .
Only red berried vines are used, such as Sangiovese, Cabernet together with other native vines. In this regard, read the article on our new vineyard dedicated to Agresto “Tiring but exciting story of the birth of a new vineyard” .
The bunches are harvested and delicately pressed. The must obtained is filtered and taken to stainless steel pots to be boiled over low heat together with small quantities of honey, onion, garlic and various spices. At the end of cooking, wine vinegar is added and after further filtration, it is pasteurized. and bottled.
A CULINARY SECRET NOT TO BE MISSED
Its ancient roots and authentic flavor represent a real culinary treasure. Whether you love traditional cuisine or want to experiment with new creative recipes, Agresto di Carmignano is ready to fascinate you with its millenary history and unique taste, it will be the perfect companion in your kitchen.
It can be used in so many ways in the kitchen. Its sweet and sour flavor makes it perfect for enriching salads, blending meat or fish, or reducing it on cheeses or desserts.
But the best way to enjoy it is… raw! Together with the oil, it can be used for a delicious dip of seasonal vegetables.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste it yet, try this unique condiment and discover the explosion of flavors it adds to your favorite dishes.