Montalto Dora Savoy Cabbage

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The Montalto Dora savoy cabbage is a local cabbage variety with crinkled, curly leaves and a round and soft head. Savoy cabbage typically follows a winter cereal in crop rotation. It is grown in open fields and is sown starting from the month of May, while transplanting procedure is carried out between mid June and early July. It is harvested in the first fifteen days of November when the core leaves are particularly solid and compact. The heads normally weigh 2-3 kg, with a top weight of 10-12 kg. The Montalto Dora Savoy cabbage is well-known all over Canavese area (in the province of Turin) since it is frost-hardy, even in late autumn. It has a stronger smell and taste and a higher fibre content than regular cabbages. This cabbage is the main ingredient of the ‘d pan e còj soup (a soup made of bread, cabbage and Canavese cheese) the traditional dish for All Saints’ Day. Thanks to its crispy and crinkled leaves, it is also used to dip into bagna càuda (a “hot dip” made of garlic, oil and anchovies) from fojòt (earthenware pots). Since it is still compact even when cooked, it is considered as the best type of cabbage to be wrapped around the stuffing of Canavese caponèt, traditional cabbage roulades, stuffed with pork meat and meat leftovers, mixed with bread and eggs. Furthermore, the inner leaves in Montalto Dora Savoy cabbage are so soft and sweet that are generally eaten in salad and seasoned with garlic and anchovies. Since the early 1950’s, but especially before World War 2, the mainly agricultural economy of Montalto Dora was largely based on Savoy cabbage growing. The street markets of Ivrea, Biella y Borgo d’Ale received over 4,0000 kilograms per week, from November to February. With the passing of time, the growing manufacturing industry, with Canavese young labour force that gradually started working at the local Olivetti computer factory, played an important part in making farmers progressively abandon this crop. The association for the promotion of Montaldo Dora Savoy Cabbage has been fostering this traditional crop since 1996. This association has recovered the seeds and gathered the local growers. Consequently, this Savoy cabbage production is slowly resuming and 26 small farmers are now growing this variety to sell it in local street markets.

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Production area:Montalto Dora Municipality (Torino province)

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Marta Miolo