Until the end of the 1940s, the “Aci” (the prefix used to identify the areas around historic Acireale) supplied the city of Catania with excellent fruit and vegetables, grown in the volcanic soil around Etna. Among the many different vegetables, kohlrabi was one of the most sought-after. The brassica produces a violet-streaked bulb, a typical color for the vegetables grown in Etna’s mineral-rich soil. It can be eaten raw, in salads or with pasta (a typical Acireale dish). The four leaves that wrap the bulb can also be eaten.
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The kohlrabi is grown in two cycles, and harvested in May and June and again in October and November.
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PresidiumThe Presidium was established to promote this crop in the historic areas around Etna and to preserve the vegetable plots on the slopes of the volcano. Large shopping centers and senseless urbanization have paved over fertile land around Catania’s outskirts, leaving little space for agricultural activities. Just a few dozen hectares are still cultivated. They are subject to the demands of the market, which is leading to the gradual abandonment of traditional vegetables in favor of other products like almonds, hazelnuts and citrus.
Acireale e Aci S. Antonio, Aci S. Filippo, Aci Catena, Aci Castello and Aci Bonaccorsi Municipalities (province of Catania)
Presidium supported by
Sicily Regional Authority’s Agriculture and Food Department