Organic Chicory ‘Rossa Di Treviso’


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Soil Association Organic Logo          Cichorium Intybus – 0.69g – Approx 500 Seeds     

Rossa di Treviso is an Italian heirloom variety from the 16th century. It was the first Italian vegetable to be issued with DOP status like Champagne.

Rossa di Treviso is s a long leaved radicchio type that grows in a similar habit to lettuce. The leaves start off green and develop a stunning red colour as the weather cools in the autumn. It can also be forced like a whitloof type. Forcing produces tender leaves that are less bitter.

Sow the seeds under cover in late winter and spring for summer salad leaves. Direct sow in summer to harvest full sized heads in autumn. Thin the plants to around 20cm apart. Cold temperatures are needed for the deep red colour to develop.

For forced plants – lift the roots in the autumn, plant in large containers and trim the leaves to 3cm above soil leve.. Cover to exclude light which will cause bitterness. Store in a dark place at around 15°c and harvest in 3 – 6 weeks when the plants are around 20cm tall. Leave the roots as they will continue to grow over winter.

Seed Story

Chicory dates back to ancient Egypt. It can be found as a wild plant across Europe, China and Australia but has also been cultivated since 17th century.

Whilst commonly used as a salad leaf its roots do contain essential oils and chicory is one of the 38 plants used in Back flower remedies!

There are many tales of the magical powers of chicory over the years.- it was even believed to make the bearer invisible!

Forced chicory was a happy accident for a Belgian farmer around 1830 who found that the roots he had stored in his dark cellar had sprouted and had produced tight, compact leaves like a cos lettuce. The leaves were crisp with a sweet, creamy flavour and this is how the ‘chicon’ began!

Our favourite story of chicory is the fact that its roots can be used as a coffee substitute!

Did you know that Chicory Coffee is still used in Louisiana today!