Tarquinia Fennel

Ark of taste
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In the Lazio Maremma, in particular in the municipalities of Tarquinia, Tolfa, Montalto di Castro, Allumiere and Monte Romano, a local variety of fennel is grown that has a predominantly rounded shape, which is sometimes elliptical. It has a whitish or greenish colour on the outer layer and a white-green colour throughout, with an intense and persistent aroma; it has a sweet and tasty flavour, and its consistency is firm and crunchy.

This ecotype has a compact shape with a large rounded white section at the bottom and bunched-up groups of leaves at the top. The seeds are selected every year from the best plants by local custodian farmers.

Its cultivation in local gardens dates back to ancient history. As early as 1379 in the Statuto degli Ortolani, reference is made to the vegetable districts grown outside the walls of Tarquinia, providing information both on the vegetables produced, including fennel, and on their sale. Later, in a contract for the sale of a vegetable garden dated 1 April 1850 by Count Luciano Bruschi Fulgari, reference is made to the production of about 700 fennel plants. The National Institute for Foreign Trade, in 1939, published “Production and trade of Italian agricultural products” noting that in Lazio it was possible to produce a minimum of 15000 to a maximum of 40000 kilograms of fennel per hectare. In 1949 the Consorzio di Bonifica della Maremma Etrusca was created, simultaneously with the reclamation of land in the 1950s, which led to the spread of the cultivation of fennel over a large part of the Tarquinia territory.

Local fennels can be sown in open fields from August to the end of September, or in seedbeds in August. These are subsequently transplanted in a period that runs between the first ten days of August to mid-October. The harvest runs from November to May.

The best way to eat Tarquinia fennel is raw. In fact, it is very good in salads, seasoned with a drizzle of oil, salt or in pinzimonio, but it is also excellent boiled, steamed or au gratin. It is also used as a flavouring for liqueurs or pastries.

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Production area:Biodistrict of Maremma Etrusca and Tolfa Mountains

Other info


Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Fabio Massimo Iacoponi