Gorizia Pink Radicchio

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

“Rosa di Gorizia” (“Rose of Gorizia” – Cichorium intybus) is a variety of chicory with a typical deep red or pink-reddish colour according to different selections.

The “Rose” is grown largely on the plain between Gorizia and Salcano ( the latter now in Slovenia), but over the years cultivation has been limited due to the expansion of urban and residential areas.
The production of radicchio is therefore not that intensive, but this guarantees the product a niche market reserved to the provinces of Friuli- Venezia Giulia – the Rose of Gorizia is, therefore, a real speciality.

The first official accounts about this type of radicchio date back to 1873, when Baron Carl von Czoernig-Czernhausen mentioned it. He lived in Gorizia in the second half of the XIX century and had the opportunity to write in detail about this very speciality. Nonetheless, this agricultural tradition has probably got its roots in far more remote periods.

Today, sowing takes place with a waning moon, often associated with wheat: a very sensible choice, as the radicchio doesn’t allow weed development – thus the farmers don’t have to use any herbicides. After cutting the wheat, the radicchio restarts its growth.
In October, the very large leaves begin to slightly change their colour: the “Rose” look intense green with aubergine tones. At the beginning of November, farmers start harvesting according to the seasonal trend and the actual market needs.

With the first frosts, the large leaves burn; then the seedlings are removed from the earth and tied to bunches for the roots. Now the maturation of the radicchio begins: the bunches are put into a shelter, at a temperature between 10 and 15 ° C. They stay there for about fifteen days, covered by straw and often watered. Eventually, the bunches are opened and the seedlings are cleaned until only the heart remains: the weight of the harvested plant – excluding roots – is usually reduced by 70%.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)



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