PRODUCT: Castelfranco Chicory | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food PRODUCT: Castelfranco Chicory – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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PRODUCT: Castelfranco Chicory

Californians are so lucky. Between the great growing climate and consumer demand for the best, local farmers grow produce not often seen in other parts of the country.

Take this Castelfranco chicory, a joy to behold. The round, slightly open lettuce* heads have pale green leaves that are speckled with burgundy red.

Italians call it “a flower for eating.” It’s almost too pretty to eat! Castelfranco is the sweetest of the radicchio-type chicories: crunchy with an interesting, slightly bitter flavor.

Other names for the lettuce include variegata di Castelfranco, radicchio Castelfranco and Castelfranco variegata. It’s an heirloom radicchio-type chicory from the Veneto region of Italy, where it is abundant and popular. Castelfranco is a town in the area.

A pretty salad by itself, it can be mixed with other greens.

The crop from which this head was picked was grown by Dirty Girl Produce, a certified organic family farm in Santa Cruz County. It’s sold at farmers markets, to restaurants and artisan food markets like Good Eggs.

  castelfranco-chicory-goodeggs-230
A beautiful head of castelfranco chicory. Photo courtesy Good Eggs.
 
And people wonder why the first thing we do when landing in California is head to the farmers markets!

 
*Chicory is in the same botanical family as iceberg lettuce and romaine (Asteraceae), but a different genus (Cichorium versus Lactuca).

  




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