Ancient vegetables: Escarole from Bassano

Ancient vegetables: Escarole from Bassano

Production area and history

Veneto region
Production area: Bassano del Grappa, Rosà, Cassola, Marostica, province of Vicenza.

Escarole is a variety of salad originating in the temperate areas of Europe. Appreciated since ancient times for its tonic, purifying and euretic properties, it has found in the territory around Bassanodel Grappa suitable land for its cultivation which boasts a centenary tradition; the ventilated microclimation of the area and the soils with good permeability and presence of organic matter have favored the cultivation of this cycle-early vegetable. The possibility of having the "Bassano endive" available during the winter, a time usually characterized by scarcity of vegetables which supplemented the diet, made the product particularly sought after and appreciated, so much so that it became a full part of the local culinary tradition .

Escarole of Bassano (photo VenetoAgricoltura)

Features

The "scarola di Bassano" has an elongated head, tending to the cylindrical, of 50-70 leaves with a more or less erect bearing that have a very large central rib, white in color, and a leafy leaf that is all the more enveloping as it is more developed in width. The root appears deep in the ground with parallel branches that can exceed one meter in depth. The plant can grow 30 cm in height and is bright green in color. The product is particularly sweet and tender.

Production area of ​​Scarola di Bassano (photo VenetoAgricoltura)

Cultivation technique

The soil is prepared with the usual tillage (plowing, milling, fertilizing, etc.) for seeds which occurs in scalar periods from mid-August to mid-October directly in the field, where the seed is buried at 1-2 cm and the emergence of the plant takes place in 7-10 days, or in a seedbed (in this case it can be slightly anticipated) and is covered with non-woven fabric to prepare the seeds and maintain humidity. The "Bassano endive" has no particular needs because having a good root and a good ability to take root, irrigation interventions are necessary only in the early stages of cultivation.
The harvest is done manually about three months after sowing when the plants have a "heart" with a high number of etiolated leaves. The bushes are cut at the level of the collar, cleaned of the old leaves and arranged in boxes or containers for transport.
Pre-season and selection of vegetables, the plant is placed for forcing in closed containers with water in contact with the roots where they remain for about a week, variable period also depending on the degree of maturation of the plants, in a dark and warm environment (from 15 to 20 ° C or in heated environments) and in conditions of humidity suitable for the formation of new sheets, which have developed or formed in these expected conditions of the reserve substances of the roots, will present better organoleptic characteristics; in fact, they lose their fibrous consistency, deprived as they are of chloro fi lian pigments, they are enriched with water, they become more tender and sweet. Finally, we proceed to a new selection of the marketable plants, to cleaning, washing, packaging and selling.

Production

Bassano escarole is generally eaten raw in salads.
The production of "scarola di Bassano" is small and entirely absorbed by the local market, where the product can be purchased from retailers during the autumn-winter period.

Atlas of traditional agri-food products from Veneto - VenetoAgriculture


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