*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: Rosso di Verona
Days to Maturity (slot): 110 Days (late)
You know how sometimes you try to tell someone something important and you just don't feel like they're really listening? Like, they're nodding their heads and watching your lips move, but you can just tell, their mind is somewhere else. I am starting to feel like that might be you when I am talking to you about Rosso di Verona radicchio. Please pay attention, this memo has been going around the office for a while now. We're adding a third variety of Verona this year: a wonderfully late 110 day beauty, not because the demand for our favorite heading type has been strong (indeed, it has not), but because we believe in your as-yet-unrealized capacity to make good decisions for your garden and table.
I think Verona is the most satisfying red heading type you can grow. Wonderfully uniform and easy, producing tight heads of a manageable size to polish off in a single evening's small family meal (think the Delicata of the radicchio world, but actually... don't get me started about the weird infatuation with Delicata squash, that's a conversation for another day). They are extremely durable in the field and store well after harvest. I am especially fond, in our generally mildish winter climate, of the late maturing slots like 'Gaia' that continue to hold in the field and sweeten with the onset of cold winter weather. There is nothing quite so satisfying as going out to the field on a cold january day and scraping a layer of slimy decay from the outside of a head of Verona only to uncover an impossibly pure, glowing, immaculate burgundy head of radicchio to harvest for supper.
One of the older types, Rosso di Verona dates back to the 18th century when like most radicchio of the time, it was produced by forcing. Through generations of selection it became the field heading variety we recognize today. Named after their center of production in the Veneto, Rosso di Verona are characterized by their small size (about the size of a large fist), compact egg-shaped heads, and prominent central white midrib on the leaves. There is a lovely interplay between the bitterness of the leaf and the sweetness of the white midrib especially well into the fall and into periods of consistent frosts and they are among the most versatile in the kitchen.
About the named varieties... For most vegetables, in order to provide a continuous harvest over a long period of time, growers stagger planting dates throughout the season which in turn provides a continuous harvest as the plants mature to eating stage. With radicchio, a different strategy is employed. For the most part, the majority of heading radicchio is best suited to seeding around the summer solstice (transplanting in the second-third week of July). To achieve a longer harvest period, rather than staggering planting dates, breeders have developed different varieties within a type with different days-to-maturity harvests. These are often referred to as "slots" with many types having early, mid, and late slotted varieties.
110 days from transplant.
Packet: 100 seeds