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red chicory

The 'flower of winter', radicchio, radicio or Cicoria variegata has been cultivated since the 15th century, mainly in the Veneto region and Trentino. Treviso, above all, has the right growing conditions: good soil, plenty of water, and the right climate, and conditions for imbianchimento (the radicchio is dug up and kept in water in the dark, to keep it from turning green).

Radicchio di Treviso can be eaten raw in a salad by itself or its bitterness contrasted with nuts, pears, or grapes. You can find it in a risotto, or even on a pizza. A traditional Venetian dish, radici e fasioi is made with raw chicory and hot mashed beans.

There are several kinds:

lidric (or lidrìc) cul poc: a wild, somewhat bitter radicchio that grows on the Friulian plain, used in lidric cul argjel (wild radicchio seasoned with lard), one of the more unusual dishes from the Julian Alps.

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Food Festivals

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Slow Food

Trentino-Alto Adige



Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Cate sherpa, public domaine, Luigi Guarino, mtcarlson