Radicchio (Tardivo), 'Botteniga'
*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 Treviso Tardivo
Days to Maturity: 80-90
An excellent Tardivo variety for the early cycle slot, ready for forcing in the PNW by mid-October. A slightly smaller final product than main and later season selections, we have found it to be an excellent and reliable variety for the first forced radicchio of fall.
In our opinion, the forced winter chicories represent the absolute pinnacle of grace and culinary joy in the radicchio family. Distinctively elegant in appearance, 'Botteniga' has long slender burgundy leaves with pure white mid-ribs that curl fancifully inwards at the tip. Produced primarily around the town of Treviso, in the Veneto region of northern Italy, this type of radicchio is known as Rosso di Treviso Tardivo and is traditionally “forced", or brought inside (roots and all) in late fall/early winter after growing for months in the field to produce a second, deliciously tender growth in the heart of the rosette. The practice originates from historically lean times when poor rural populations sought out sources of winter-time nourishment. Plants that produced a core of edible greens in the coldest months of the year when brought inside barns and cellars became food of necessity. Ironically many have now come to be thought of as gourmet culinary treasures like Belgian endive, Treviso Tardivo, and Rosa di Gorizia. The first Italian vegetable to gain IGP, a European-protected status for special food products specific to a place of origin (similar to many wines and cheeses) radicchio, Treviso tardivo was celebrated with a producers exhibition in 1900 which, interrupted only by wartime years, has been held every year since. Use raw in salads, grilled, roasted, or sautéed with risotto or pasta. A true source of joy.
While some strains of tardivo produce a blanched core even in the field setting, we strongly encourage you to take the extra step of forcing which produces the most tender midribs and unquestionably superior eating quality. It is worth the additional effort.
80-90 days + forcing. SM
Packet: 100 seeds
Product Code: SMA-BO-pkt
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Please visit our Radicchiology page for radicchio growing info!