The Montello Potato
The potato was introduced to the area of Treviso at the beginning of the nineteenth century and from about 1890 onwards it began to be cultivated in Montello, an area that today is divided into the five municipalities of Crocetta del Montello, Giavera del Montello, Nervesa della Battaglia, Volpago del Montello and Montebelluna. The terrains of this area are rich in iron and clay, a condition which detains at length the humidity which is necessary in order to favour the ripening of the tubers. The area sown with potato around Montello is about forty hectares, subdivided into various cultivars: the Desirèe, reddish-coloured, which ripens late and has yellow flesh, suitable for frying and oven-cooking; the Kennebec, another late ripener, with white flesh, a large variety that is excellent for making gnocchi and purée or mashed potato; the small Ratte, a medium to early ripener with yellow flesh that is excellent for oven-cooking. Three other varieties, all with yellow flesh, are suitable for all uses in the kitchen: the Monnalisa, which ripens medium to early, the Lisetta which ripens early and the Bintje, which ripens medium to late.
Since 1996, the 'Patata del Montello', or Montello Potato has been sold with the brand registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso. In Montebelluna the potato is celebrated with a special festival dedicated to it in September.
The Cornetta di Vallalta Potato
These are small cylindrical-shaped potatoes and the production is limited almost exclusively to family use but occasionally it can be found among the goods of some resellers in the area where it is grown. It lends itself particularly to being cooked in the pan with various types of meat or fried, due to the compactness of the flesh.
The Quartier del Piave Potato
The fertile plain of the Sinistra Piave, between the Prealps of Treviso and the hills of Montello, is the home for production of this potato in the municipalities of Vidor, Moriago and Sernaglia della Battaglia. The most common varieties nowadays are the Monnalisa, excellent boiled or roasted, and the Spunta, good served as new potatoes or cooked in the oven.
The distribution is divided among a few medium-sized and many small family-run businesses and provides a very short food chain from the field to the table. Most of the production is bought and sold in the countryside, usually at harvesting-time. A special festival is dedicated to the potato in Moriago in the month of September.
The Zero Branco Potato
In the period immediately after the second world war, cultivation of the sweet potato became popular in Zero Branco, alongside the more famous vegetable of the same area: the Zero Branco Pepper. The Zero Branco Potato has an elongated shape and white flesh which is consistent and doughy, due to its high content of starch. The flavour is distinctly sweet, recalling something between potato, yellow pumpkin and chestnut. Rich in vitamins, it is recommended for those who suffer from anaemia, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Photo by Municipality of Montebelluna