Radicchio 'Rosa Isontina'


(Cichirium intybus) From the foothills of the Dolomites, tucked up against Slovenia in the northeast corner of Italy comes one of the most beautiful and celebrated of the chicories of the Friuli-Venizia Giulia. The agricultural areas around the border town of Gorizia and its Slovenian counterpart Nova Gorica have long produced this beautiful winter radicchio known as the “Rose of Gorizia”. Summer sown, plants grow in the field through frost until the outer leaves begin to die back and then are dug and brought in to force in darkness. The result is a delicate rose-shaped head of tender lightly bitter leaves. The most common form is deep burgundy fading down to magenta at the base, but pink and even a rarer chartreuse version sometimes flecked with red (known as “Canarino”) appear in the mix. As the farmland around Gorizia continued to succumb to development, in 2010 a producers association was founded to preserve the regional specialty and since then Slow Food has designated a presidium to promote it. One of the guidelines of the producers’ association stipulates that seed is to be maintained and selected by the producers and not sourced from commercial sources. ‘Isontina’ is one of the commercial versions of the Gorizia type available, and the one we started with as we begin to select our own strain for NW Washington. Early forcing from mid October through early December tends to produce looser, more elongated heads in lighter shades of pink and cream, while late December through February forcing tends to produce the deeper colored, denser, and more classic "rose" shaped heads.
120-150 days + forcing. UO

Packet: 100 seeds

Product Code: CHI-IS-Pkt

Availability:In stock

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$48.00