Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso PGI
Among the culinary treasures of Italy, Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso PGI shines like a precious jewel. Native to the humid lands of Veneto, this uniquely flavoured vegetable delights all those who are so privileged enough to taste it.
Radicchio Tardivo is the result of slow and patient growth. The damp meadows of the Treviso area provide the perfect soil: the low temperatures and humidity lend this product its distinctive elongated shape and crispy leaves.
Veneto, the land of radicchio
Radicchio is an excellence of the Veneto region, where several varieties are produced, four of which have the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) label. These are the main ones:
- Radicchio Rosso di Verona PGI
- Radicchio Rosso di Chioggia PGI
- Radicchio di Asigliano
- Radicchio Bianco, or Variegato, di Lusia
- Radicchio Rosso (early or late) di Treviso PGI
- Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco PGI
Focusing in particular on this ‘late’ radicchio di Treviso PGI, we learn that it is harvested from November onwards (while early radicchio is available as of September), after at least two frosts as this is essential for its proper growth. The qualities of this radicchio are so important that they are protected by a specific Consortium, which also strictly delimits its area of origin, restricted to just twenty-four municipalities in the Veneto region: seventeen in the province of Treviso, five in the province of Venice and two in the province of Padua.
A unique balance of flavours
The unique taste of radicchio, slightly bitter and, at the same time sweet, is the result of a special cultivation process. Slow maturing, favoured by specific environmental conditions, lends Radicchio Tardivo its distinctive red hue and crunchy texture, ideal for use in a variety of recipes.
An indispensable characteristic for obtaining a good late radicchio is the practice known as bleaching. The radicchio heads, after being harvested, are tied together to form bunches, and placed in special tanks with spring water (this is not a small detail!) flowing at a controlled temperature and never touching the leaves, for up to twenty-five days. After this time, they are moved to a darker and warmer place, so they take on their beautiful bright red colour, until they are prepared for consumption by removing the outer leaves and leaving the tastier heart with that typical bitter and sweet taste.
How to eat radicchio
Radicchio, especially late radicchio, lends itself to many recipes. From light salads to hearty risottos, via delicious creams or classic or vegetarian pasta dishes like farfalle with vegan pesto [link alla ricetta sul sito] by our chef Walter Zanoni.
The versatility of this vegetable allows enriching any meal with its distinctive flavour. Try it, for example with polenta, with this video recipe by Laura.
For year-round availability, radicchio can also be stored in jars with white wine vinegar.
The Radicchio Tardivo IGP: a seal of quality
The IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) denomination attributed to Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso underlines its authenticity and link with the territory. A guarantee of quality and genuineness for those choosing it, since it represents an Italian excellence that is appreciated all over the world.
Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso PGI is more than just a vegetable. A symbol of the Veneto culinary tradition, a concentrate of taste and a wealth of flavours that continues to delight and enchant those who taste it.