Royal Rose Radicchio Varieties
Radicchio (cichorium intybus) is actually a member of the chicory family which includes Belgian endive. Radicchio is also known as the Italian chicory or red chicory. There are many different types of radicchio that are grown domestically however only a few are readily available from Royal Rose on a a year-round or seasonal basis.
Radicchio di Chioggia
Our Premier Radicchio Variety
Radicchio Chioggia, is the most widely available radicchio variety to the U.S. consumer. Chioggia has dark reddish-maroon leaves with white ribs and grows in a tight round head about the size of a grapefruit.
Radicchio di Treviso
The Versatile & Milder Radicchio
Treviso grows in an elongated head. Its leaves are similar to romaine lettuce or overgrown Belgian endive and are dark reddish-maroon with center white ribs. This milder form of radicchio is prized in salads. Its adaptability & shape makes it ideal for cooking and it is often grilled or baked.
A Winter Flower
Tardivo comes from the more common Radicchio di Treviso that is cultivated with a complicated growing – forcing – blanching – sprouting technique similar to the method that yields Belgium Endive. After the first frost, the radicchio is harvested leaving substantial taproot. Each plant is carefully freed of its outer frost-damaged leaves. These plants are then preserved in protected furrows where the taproot is immersed in spring water. It then forms new leaves in the absence of light. Tardivo is known as a Fiori d’Inverno or winter flower because it is only available from November to March.
Radicchio di Castelfranco
The Edible Flower
Radicchio Castelfranco has a yellowish-cream leaf with red speckles. This beautiful, tender, lettuce-like ball unfolds like a rose. It is grown with the first frost. Delicate and fragile Castelfranco plants are harvested with a taproot and brought under a tented or roofed enclosure where they enjoy much humidity and little light. This radicchio is also known as a winter flower and is only available from November to March.