Artichokes fields are one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Chianti landscape: on terraced land, flanking roads and on the crest of drystone walls, these magnificent verdant plants with their large silver-tinged green leaves, can be seen everywhere in spring.
A true delicacy, in Tuscany the artichoke is eaten preserved in oil, as a cream with parmesan, and even raw, as a salad, simply dressed with oil and lemon juice.
FUN FACT: In spring the artichoke plant produces its first fruit, known in Italy as the “mamma” – the mammas are used to make artichoke cream. The smaller artichokes that surround the mamma are more suitable for preserving in oil because their size makes them easier to work with.
We have 3 different varieties of artichoke on our estate. Let’s learn about them together.
A small thorny Tuscan variety, purple in colour, with a typically pointed shape. It is perfect for preserving in oil and eaten raw, dressed with oil and lemon.
The Romanesco artichoke cultivar is typical of Lazio, although it can be found all over Italy. It gets quite big, is not too spiny and is green with purple streaks. This delicious artichoke variety is used in many traditional recipes from Lazio, like Artichokes alla Romana.
A luxuriant variety, large and spineless, making it easy to work with. It lends itself well for creating patè, creams and preserving in oil.