“Da Cibo dei Poveri a Prodotto di Qualità.”
Translated into English: “The Food of the Poor to a Quality Product,” sets the tone for this Italian Cipollini farmer, Marco Freddi.
The word for onion in Italian is “cipolla” and “cipollini” translates to small (Italian) onions. Cipollini originated in Italy and were considered a “poor man’s food” back in Roman times around 1500 B.C. These onions were versatile and plentiful but you wouldn’t see Roman officials eating these onions. Since luxuries like bread and meats were hard to obtain in those times, cipollini would be the vegetable of choice for many meals. Over time however, and with help from Freddi Farms, Italian cipollini have shown their true colors in gourmet cuisine and classic grilling.
Freddi Farms has been growing Sweet Italian Cipollini since 1926 in Calerno di Sant’llario d’Enza near Parma, Italy. These cipollini onions have small, flattened, disc-shaped bulbs that vary from 2-3 inches in diameter. Beautiful to the eye and delicious to the palate, these onions have a firm texture and a semi-sweet pungent flavor in its raw taste.
However when cooked, these onions can be the focal point of any dish. A common cooking method for Italian cipollini is to grill or roast them. Grilling them allows them to caramelize and brings out their natural sweetness. They have a depth of flavor that can hold up to herbs and assertive cheeses. Cipollini are wonderful pairings for cured meats and charcuterie as well. Even braised in wine, these onions can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.
Here are a couple of recipes that include these versatile Italian Cipollini:
Roasted Tomatoes and Cipoliini: Quick and easy to make, sweet cipollini paired with juicy tomatoes in a simple recipe.
Wine Braised Cipollini and Fennel: Browned skate fillet topped with cipollini onions and fennel that have been braised in wine and stock and finished with a tarragon beurre blanc.
Balsamic-Glazed Sweet and Sour Cipollini: Quick and easy side dish that completes any meal. Cipollini onions blanched then sautéed in a pan with olive oil, sugar, tomato sauce, and balsamic.
Get cookin’ and make this “poor man’s” onion into a culinary dream! If you have some cipollini recipes that you would like to share, you can upload them to our Recipe Page on our website. We always love to hear your comments and opinions. Keep us updated by following and tweeting us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, sending us an e-mail, calling us (215.336.0766) and commenting at the bottom of the page. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content. We hope to hear from you soon!
Cipollini, onions, italian, Freddi Farms, recipes