Seed Saving: intermediate
Late Red Radicchio from Treviso (Cichorium intybus)
Radicchio Rosso from Treviso (Cichorium intybus): this late variety from Trevigiano holds famous organoleptic characteristics. The beautiful red leaves, close with the first drop of temperatures and create a tight head. The stalks are fleshy and crunchy, the taste is bitter and rich in nuances. Easy to cultivate and undemanding for soil, however, it requires a constant water supply, avoiding water stagnation, as well as good soil processing. It is very resistant to cold and can be harvested in the middle of winter. It is sown from April to September and, like the other chicory, it is biennial and it's necessary to wait the following spring to reproduce the seeds. A word of advice, let the best plants reach full maturity. To improve the produce, a "bleaching" process is necessary, as explained below.
This technique is useful to improve the organoleptic qualities of the variety, since it helps getting a more delicate taste, and softer texture. The operation consists in depriving the central part of the plant of light, so that the stalks have a more candid appearance. There are several techniques, at home it should be done about twenty days before the harvest, it is necessary to pick the plant and tie the leaves on the head closed with a string or an elastic so that the external foliage are tightened and the central part remains in the dark. At harvest, it is necessary to remove the outer leaves before getting to the beautiful white stem.
We leave you a link with another bleaching technique, suitable for larger plots, also the video is shot for the commendable project of Inland social agriculture that involves political refugees and people with psychiatric distress in a path of social recovery.
or an alternative technique visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeyO6hU1R-g&vl=en