A starring role that has gone on for centuries ……
From 1500 until today, the chinotto has captured the attention and the curiosity of many fans. Sailors considered it as an invigorating and charming amulet against diseases but transformed it was also a pleasurable traditional delicacy which was a souvenir of excellence of the Savona area and not to be forgotten the timeless icon of the drink that has involved and fascinated all generations since 1930.
Who is the inventor of the chinotto drink?
It ‘s a mystery, we still do not know the true inventor of this drink that over the time has attracted more and more people: some claim it was invented in 1932 by San Pellegrino, which is the main producer; a different hypothesis is that it was produced by the company Neri of Capranica (VT) in 1949. Others say that the industrial formula was invented in the laboratories of Costantino Rigamonti, whose owner later became president of Recoaro: it is thought that Emilio Rigamonti invented the formula of chinotto at the end of the war, in the laboratories of Costantino Rigamonti via Poerio 39 in Milan. The formula was first proposed to Neri and after to Recoaro, with an agreement of acquiring a minority of the company where Emilio Rigamonti was the President at least until the mid-sixties. The San Pellegrino was able to imitate the original formula only later.
The Recoaro chinotto earned its reputation as a national alternative to Coca Cola with the famous slogan ‘The other way to drink dark’, and with a label which showed the colours of the italian flag. Around 1950 the most popular chinotto was produced by Recoaro. From the self-sufficient and nationalist splendor to the original and lively freshness of the legendary 50s’. Soft drink, intellectual aperitif, digestive beverage, unique recipe for cocktail, the chinotto is a choice out of the schemes, not only for its originality but also for taste and tradition. The chinotto is a symptom of an identity and a true style, sophisticated yet simple …… the Italian charm above fashions …… The chinotto has influenced the habits and the social customs and as all the social rituals, even that of chinotto had its own ceremonial apparatus as special art glasses produced in Altare, or in ceramics with the characteristic style white and blue, made in the factories of Albissola and the famous vintage icons of the 50s. Today the chinotto has been rediscovered as a “cult” phenomenon, which arouses great sympathy among different types of public both young and mature: from the lovers of excellent food to the tourists and cruise passengers looking for new flavors and emotions to take home, up to associations of fans of chinotto and bloggers intrigued by the “vintage” phenomena, not only food: in fact the chinotto has contaminated different artistic spheres from music, and we remember the groups called Skiantos and Funkestein SV, the literature with Stefano Benni and his “Il Marziano innamorato”, Francesco Guccini with “Un disco dei Platters”, in painting we find Federica Agostini with her mixed media painting “Il Chinotto”, in cinematography Marco Antonio Pani who in 1999 introduced a short film titled “Chinotto” , and the very nice comics.
Donald Duck at the Tour 1954
So, we can surely consider this fruit as a symbol of the Italian folklore tradition and local culture: today there are several fan clubs and a character named King Chinotto and his company.