*This seed is offered as part of the "Gusto Italiano Project", a collaborative partnership between Uprising Seeds, Italian breeders Smarties.Bio, and the Culinary Breeding Network. Certified organic seed is grown in Italy by Smarties.Bio.
Type: Puntarelle di Galantina
Days to Maturity: 90-110
(Cichorium intybus) We are crazy about the chicories in general, but puntarelle has been a full-blown obsession here at Uprising. Traditionally grown in the region around Rome, puntarelle is unique among the chicories in that it is the young, hollow bolting shoots that are usually eaten rather than the leaves. They grow into dense beautiful "heads" (referred to as "pigna" or pinecones in Italy) with many points that, upon harvest, are separated, julienned into thin strips, and soaked in cold water to remove some of the bitterness while developing an elegant curl. In Roman markets vendors can be found prepping the greens using a taglia puntarelle, a tool consisting of a fine wire grid which the stems are pushed through to finely slice them for soaking. The texture is crisp and crunchy with the lovely refreshing bitterness of its radicchio siblings. In Rome Puntarelle alla Romana, thin strips of puntarelle in an anchovy, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil dressing, is a quintessential winter salad. There it is mainly a winter vegetable, but because bolting is triggered by photoperiod (day length, or more accurately night-length) it generally heads much earlier at our more northerly latitude, usually between mid-October and mid-November. We have been growing this crop for many years here at Uprising, and in the past have found the available seed to be extremely variable, frustratingly producing relatively low percentage of proper, harvestable plants. This Smarties strain has vastly raised the bar of success in our climate, with our trial plot showing very uniform heading and size. The timing of planting is very important (growing information coming soon).
Packet: 100 seeds