Custoza broccoletto is a medium-small plant which has long, open, thin leaves with tender central ribs and small budding side branches. The plant does not develop the typical flower head of broccoli, only a small central heart of leaves. These characteristics, the result of the plant’s genetic heritage as well as the soil type and cultivation technique, make it very different from other typical broccoli varieties such as those from Torbole or Creazzo.
In the past, the crop was planted in the driest, rockiest soil in the area, often as a complementary crop to the vines that now characterize much of the landscape.
The seeds are planted in a seedbed in June and in August the seedlings are planted out in the fields. The broccoletto is picked between December and early February. It’s very important that before the harvest the plant goes through a cold period, which makes it sweeter and more tender.
When the broccoletto is picked, by hand, the large basal leaves or those that are slightly damaged are removed and they are packed in bunches of five heads each (according to tradition) ready for sale.
The entire head is eaten, including the ribs, which are tender and not stringy. The broccoletto has an unmistakable flavor, very delicate and slightly sweet. Custoza families have long prepared it very simply, cooking it in boiling water for about 20 minutes then tossing the greens with a little extra-virgin olive oil and serving them with boiled eggs and salami or fresh sausage. But there are also many other traditional culinary preparations that testify to the importance of the vegetable in the local economy and the community’s winter diet.
Custoza broccoletto is harvested from November to February.
The aim of the Presidium is to promote this product, creating and strengthening a virtuous circuit with the community in the local area, consumers and restaurateurs in particular. A broccoletto festival involving local restaurants has been held every January for some years now.
Agricultural land in Custoza hamlet, Sommacampagna municipality, Verona province, specifically in Valle Molini, Monte Ossario, Bagolina, Cavalchina, Montegoi, Staffalo, Cappello, Monte Tamburino Sardo, Baracca, Monte Rico and Càdel Magro.
Broccoletto di Custoza
Via XXIV Maggio, 6
Tel. +39 348 4091762
The association brings together farmers and processors Filippo Bresaola, Armando Valbusa, Nicola Rossignoli, Clara Forante Leoni, Simone Valbusa, Matteo Birolli, Gabriele Aldegheri, Franco Predomo di Custoza, Marco Caceffo di Sommacampagna, Alberto Giunchi di Villafranca.