Cultivation: medium difficulty
Seed Saving: beginner
Belgian Endive (Cichorium endivia)
Belgian Endive (Cichorium endivia): ancient variety that tastes a bit bitter and has compact texture, well suited for cooking. It is cultivated like radicchio and other chicories, sown from March to August (South-Italy), requires moist soil avoiding water stagnation. The Belgian endive or Witloof chicory (large leaves) is named after its place of origin (which is not always the case as can be seen with the Japanese Trifele, the Grano Turco -corn-, the Round Eggplant) it is widespread throughout Netherlands and Germany.
The white colour of the head is gotten through bleaching, a process that gives it a new appearance and colour which will describe on the next section.
This procedure is also used for radicchio and other chicory, you will more details in the respective tabs.
It is not complicated hence, it can be performed even by inexperienced people.
This process must be done when the temperature is around the 5 ° C, the foliar apparatus (leaves) must be cut completely and the root extracted, it will look as a main root with several small roots, they must all be cut until there is only a single one. Then it is necessary to have a dark place sheltered from the more intense cold (for a greater, faster production); the containers should be half filled with soil and the roots inserted in a way to avoid the contact between each other, in this way rottenness or mildew is avoided .
It should be watered once and then only rarely, in case the substrate looks too dry or lacking humidity. They will be ready for harvest after about a month. The roots will still be productive, even if smaller tufts.