And to think that the production of this radicchio - now a Slow Food Presidium and revered by the most renowned chefs - was about to stop in the early 1970s. It was too hard to grow. Its revenues were not very profitable. There was little demand, except for the Trieste market. We learn this from Carlo Brumat, producer and President of the Red Radicchio of Gorizia, Rose of Gorizia and Canary Association, grown in symbiosis with this floral-looking radicchio, belonging to the Cicurium Inthybus ecotype of the Sativa subspecies. This "reddish chicory", as Baron Von Czoering called it in 1873, was cultivated by his father, his grandfather and, even before, by other generations of his ancestors. As a boy, "fasevo fadiga a starghe drio. Pel freddo, le mani le jera sempre ingiazade" (from local dialect: "I had troubles catching it, my hands were always cold"). Slowly, however, he fell in love with it, so much so that he "baptized" it. It was he who enrolled him, in 2000, in the List of traditional food products with the name of Rosa di Gorizia. Every food excellence is the result of the synergic contribution of man and nature. This is particularly true for the Rose, given the commitment required of farmers who, with pride, guard and pass on its seeds to subsequent generations. The contribution of nature is also fundamental, thanks to the mild climate, the gravelly and ferrous soil, which gives well-being to the product and extraordinary organoleptic properties. But how is the Rosa di Gorizia, also known as the Canarino variety, with shades, in this case, yellowish shades of red? In an era marked by the most dominant technology, its cultivation preserves the charm of the ancient work, made with the hands but also with the heart. The selection of the "buds" is handmade by each family, which genetically draws the characteristics (leaves, size and structure) of its radicchio, which thus becomes a unique product. The gestation lasts about eight months. The rose is sown from March to June. It is an simple operation, carried out in the open field, but it requires a lot of manual skill and experience in distributing the right amount of seed. With the November hoarfrost, the seedlings are extracted, collected in bunches, and then tied up and forced into the field. The next stage concerns the bleaching through the arrangement in sheltered and light-free rooms. Here the outer leaves rot, heating and feeding the heart of the Rose with their natural fertilizer. By removing up to 80% of the excess leaves, this only slightly bitter and crunchy radicchio comes to light. 14 -16 euros per kg. from the producer. Retail around 20 - 25 euros. A comparison: the red radicchio of Treviso PGI late-type, in normal weather conditions, ranges from 2 to 4 euros. In recent years there has been a widespread production of this species in areas other than Gorizia. The members of the Association are not afraid of competition. "Every production territory - Brumat tells us - must give the product, exalting it, its environmental characteristics". And those of Rosa di Gorizia are incomparable: climate, soil, bora represent factors that cannot be transferred or cloned. Hence the serenity of the Gorizia producers of this new star of international cuisine. Because better than the Rose there is only the Rose. That of Gorizia, of course.

Rossella Dosso - Gorizia3.0