A glowing bright yellow ribbon winds its way along the green edge of the Haardt region in early summer, from mid- to late-June, when the chestnuts are in bloom. The long yellowish flowers exude a beguilingly sweet scent. The Mediterranean trees are arranged so closely together, like no other place north of the Alps.
The mild climate of the Palatinate allows them to flourish very well since they were planted by the Romans. Sweet chestnuts (Latin: Castanea sativa) originally come from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. They belong to the genus of beech trees and are related to oak and beech.
In Germany, sweet chestnut trees are something of a rarity and are mainly associated with the nuts roasted at Christmas markets which generally come from more southerly climes, such as Italy, France or the Ticino. "Maroni" are a special variety of sweet chestnut, as there are more than 100 different varieties! They differ from horse chestnuts not only in terms of their taste, but also in their size and the appearance of their husks.