Yellow Storo flour: Trentino’s golden treasure
The essence of our polenta is a treasure found in the fields, at the table and over the hearth
In our collective consciousness, polenta has always had pride of place among all the dishes served in our wooden huts and mountain lodges: cooked over the hearth, in a copper pot, stirred with a wooden spoon and served on a chopping board in the centre of the table.
But it has also shot to stardom on the menus of Trentino’s gourmet restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs, where its properties — including its excellent digestibility — are celebrated.
Special attention is focused on the quality of the raw ingredients, in particular the yellow Storo flour: Trentino’s “golden treasure”.
The history of yellow Storo flour
Yellow Storo flour is easy to recognise thanks to its colour: the kernels from the cobs used to make it have highly distinctive shades of red. It is a flour with a long history: corn is thought to have arrived in Trentino during the 17th century.
Gradually, it began to be grown all over the mountain, eventually replacing other types of cereals. It was with the construction of the first town mill in 1921 that the true value of Yellow Storo Flour began to shine through: those were the years when the cob from which the flour is obtained was first appreciated and recognised as a distinctive product of Valle del Chiese.
At the end of the 1980s, producers decided to join together in a consortium for the protection and preservation of this Mais Nostrano di Storo.
The Valle del Chiese is where "Marano" corn, also known as “il Nostrano di Storo”, is grown: this is the special variety of corn used to produce the Yellow Storo flour, the key ingredient in our authentic mountain polenta. The elongated form of the cobs and the shiny, glass-like red colour of the kernels are its main characteristics, as well as the short, thin ears.
The cobs are harvested when the first mists of October arrive, and are left to dry in the arid mountain winds. Later, they are ground through an unhurried process that alters their nutritional properties and fragrances as little as possible.
Agri’90 is a Co-operative for farmers in the south-west of Trentino, founded in 1991. It is dedicated to growing the Mais Nostrano di Storo corn, producing Yellow Storo flour, and collecting and preserving many other mountain products.
Many recipes can be cooked using this golden powder, which has lots of uses in the kitchen, but one of the most delicious is Polenta Macafana: literally meaning “hunger-killer”, this dish does exactly that with its intense and unforgettable flavour.