The red rose of Gorizia, fine radicchio
The rose of Gorizia, radicchio considered among the most valuable among vegetables, is now known all over the world and much appreciated by gourmet cuisine. We are talking about a variety of chicory characterized by an intense red color or with shades tending to pink, depending on the type of selection.
It looks like a large open rose with a slightly bitter and slightly crunchy taste and now recognized by the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia as Traditional Agri-food Product (PAT).
This particular type of radicchio is also called late because it is produced in the winter and destined for trade only after a rather long processing phase.
Needless to say that the flagship product of the Friulian capital is rich in nutritional values and can be tasted in many different ways as well as pure or accompanied by good extra-virgin olive oil.
The history of the Gorizia rose from the past to the present day
The red chicory, as it was defined in the past the prized Friulian radicchio, is known since the time of the Habsburgs although its existence began to speak only towards the end of 1800, when it was mentioned in the volume «Gorizia- the Austrian Nice of 1873», where it appears among the descriptions of legumes grown in that area.
Without a doubt the rosa di Gorizia was very important for the economy of Gorizia, which at that time was based almost exclusively on the production of agricultural products and in particular of this radicchio.
Many old farmers in the area still remember how important it was that the land always produced this type of vegetable that for them was a source of safe income during the colder months. Not surprisingly it is still considered the queen of winter.
Every single farmer jealously guards the secret for an optimal production, keeping in store the seeds that will give rise to the future and impeccable cultivation of a radicchio unique in the world.
Today the red radicchio of Friuli Venezia Giulia represents for the Region itself one of the culinary excellences, which enriches the recipes of the tradition and is much appreciated even beyond the border by the most refined catering.
The nutritional values of Gorizia rose
Needless to say that this plant product so similar to a beautiful rose, is rich in multiple beneficial properties for the human organism. The red radicchio of Friuli, in fact, has a depurative and diuretic action, in addition to containing iron, calcium, antioxidants, folic acid and vitamins.
To this is added the presence of anthocyanin polyphenols that help preserve the cardiovascular system. Thanks to its bitter taste, the Gorizia rose becomes an excellent food that facilitates digestion and expulsion of intestinal gases and if consumed before meals reduces the rise in blood sugar.
One of the recipes recommended by cooking experts is to taste it raw together with boiled beans and potatoes, depending on everything with good extra virgin olive oil. A simple dish but definitely rich in benefits and low in calories.
How to grow Gorizia rose
The Friulian radicchio is sown in early summer and the fact that the sowing coincides with that of cereals, helps to avoid the growth of harmful and useless weeds. During autumn its leaves protect the inner heart of the vegetable.
The wonderful «roses» that bloom with the arrival of the colder months, are then gradually harvested and protected under the straw until they are ready to be placed on the market and on the tables.
The Gorizia rose on the table for unique and irresistible dishes
There are many recipes with which the rosa di Gorizia fits perfectly and that makes them even more unique and tasty. In Friuli it is prepared mainly with traditional dishes, such as an ancient dish made with fried bacon with the addition of vinegar and finally the fine, lightly sautéed radicchio.
Today the culinary variants are really many, thanks to the inspiration of the most renowned chefs, able to exalt to the maximum this vegetable from the intense red color accompanying it to dishes of both meat and fish that have conquered the most refined palates.
Cover Image: soplaya