The most common and best known radicchio type, Rosso di Chioggia is the public face of the radicchio for much of the world, but perhaps surprisingly, is a relatively recent introduction, dating back only to the 1930-1950s when it was bred from the Variegato di Castelfranco type. Rosso di Chioggia looks like a miniature wine-red cabbage, dense and round. It truly shines as grilled wedges with a fat like cheese or nuts and a sweet element like balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, pears, or figs. What best differentiates it from other red heading types is rather than having a thick central white midrib, its leaves have a radiating, dispersed, and much thinner rib more integrated into the texture of the leaf. Plants are unfussy and have been developed into a wide spectrum of very uniform days-to-maturity cycles or “slots.” Chioggia is a seaside town just to the south of Venice whose old town shares much of its more famous northern neighbor’s setting of narrow streets and canals. The agricultural area radiates east, and while Rosso di Chioggia is grown all over he world, the Gusto Italiano Project label is limited to producers in the the area between Chioggia and Rosolina. 55-60 days from transplant. Photo and text courtesy of Uprising Seeds.
Gusto Italiano Project is a collaboration between Culinary Breeding Network, Uprising Seeds and northern Italian vegetable breeders at Smarties.bio. The project was born from a mutual love of radicchio and a desire to further establish it as an anchor of the fall and winter produce season here in North America, and specifically the Pacific Northwest. This special line of certified organic radicchio and regional specialty Brassica seeds was bred and grown in Italy by the incredible folks at Smarties.bio. Based in Chioggia, the heart of radicchio’s motherland, Smarties.bio exists at the crossroads of tradition and innovation by bringing years of modern breeding experience to classic, culturally significant vegetables of their region.
More information can be found on the following: