Italian Radicchio

February 22, 2013


Hello Everyone,


Want to add a taste of Italy to your dinners? Well you are in luck! John Vena, Inc. recently received a shipment of radicchio from Italy. Radicchio is a leafy member of the chicory family and is a close cousin of Endive.  It has a slightly bittersweet to spicy taste which mellows when grilled or roasted.  All our varieties originated in the fertile valleys of northern Italy and around Venice.  These varieties of radicchio are named for the Italian towns where they originated, and are registered “IGP” products.  Protected Geographical Indication “PGI” (IGP in Italian) identifies a specific place of origin and is regulated by European Union law. Products labeled with the “IGP” designation are guaranteed to be genuine and produced in the area best suited for production of the item. We will be carrying several varieties of radicchio this season.  Among them are Radicchio Rosso di Treviso Tardivo IGP, Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco IGP, and Radicchio Rose’.


Radicchio Rose’ is a close relative of Radicchio di Verona. It is slightly elongated and has a rounded base.  This variety originated near Verona and was developed for its rose color.  It has a tender leaf and the head is loosely formed.  It is known to be excellent in salad.


Radicchio Rosso di Treviso Tardivo IGP is produced exclusively in three provinces in the Region of Venice in Italy. Most production is centered near the small city of Treviso. Production of "Tardivo" requires almost 2 full growing seasons, and can only be accomplished in an area where there is an abundance of fresh spring water in which to finish off the product. "Tardivo" is characterized by its unique and graceful form. The tips of the narrow leaves curve slightly to the center of the "head" and their ribs are pure white with crimson edges. The product is shipped with about 2 inches of the root still attached to help maintain the freshness of the product. Here is a quick and easy recipe for Grilled Radicchio Rosso di Treviso IGP.


Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco IGP is grown in the area around Treviso, in the Region of Venice, Italy.  It is a high quality product that can only be properly produced in that area because of the unique climate and growing conditions. "Castelfranco" is characterized by crimson, rose and red speckles that dot the yellow cream colored leaves. The taste is mildly bitter. Serve "Castelfranco" raw in salads or garnish dishes with its unique leaves. Here is a tasty desert recipe for Cream of Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco PGI and mandarin oranges with tarts au gratin.


John Vena, Inc. also offers a pack that contains both the “Tardivo” and “Castelfranco” so that you can have the chance to try both varieties. This might be preferable for customers who have never tried these products.


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Posted by:
Joe Magazzu

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