Asti Sorì Artichoke

Italy

Piedmont

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Back to the archive >
Asti Sorì Artichoke

The Asti Sorì Artichoke owes its name to the specific conditions in which it is cultivated: Sorì is a Piedmontese word that refers to the side of a hill exposed to the sun (the southeast-, south-, or southwest-facing slope), which is where the best vineyards are located, and which is also an ideal place to grow typical Mediterranean plants such as artichokes. This particular variety is cultivated on the hills of Asti between the Tiglione, Belbo, and Tanaro rivers.
Asti Artichokes are first mentioned in the late 15th century in some of the farces written by Giovan Giorgio Allione in the local vernacular; they appear in the context of the festion d’archicioc, “artichoke festivals” held to honor guests from outside the region. In the first half of the 17th century, Asti artichokes became known throughout Piedmont and appeared in the writings of Francesco Agostino Dalla Chiesa, a bishop and historian from Saluzzo.
The Asti Sorì variety produces elongated, oval-shaped artichokes without spines, and with a slight depression at the tip. The bracts (the edible “leaves” of the artichoke) are closed tightly together and are of an ashy green color with purplish veins. The plants are vigorous, growing to a height of 150 centimeters and producing up to 10 flower heads.
The artichokes are planted in well-drained soil and are replaced every 8-10 years via the traditional vegetative propagation method, which uses the carducci, or basal shoots, to grow new plants. Artichoke plants have a hardy rhizome from which new shoots and, subsequently, new flower heads develop. The autumn rains awaken and activate the rhizome’s buds, and the new shoots (the carducci) become increasingly vigorous as the weeks pass. The carducci are thinned in a process called scarducciatura in October and in March, with only the three most vigorous shoots being left. The others are either used in the kitchen or kept for vegetative propagation at a later time.
The harvest of the artichoke heads, which is done manually, begins in late spring and continues in stages until June. The Asti Sorì is a rustic artichoke variety that does not require pesticides. It is given organic fertilizers and, when possible, cover crops are planted in the artichoke plots.
The artichokes themselves are sweet and tender, and can be prepared in various ways (preserved in oil, fried, added to risotto), although the best way to fully enjoy their qualities is to eat them raw. The stems and leaves are also edible, as are the tender carducci harvested in the spring.

  • Hai imparato qualcosa di nuovo da questa pagina?
    Did you learn something new from this page?

  • YesNo

Season

The harvest takes place in stages: The primary flower heads are usually collected in May, and the secondary heads are collected gradually until early June.

Back to the archive >
After a period of widespread production in the 1950s, the cultivation of Asti Artichokes declined rapidly, primarily due to the fact that this variety is harvested late in the season—indeed, by the time Asti Artichokes are available at the market, varieties from Southern Italy have already finished and prices are too low for producers to make a profit. In the second half of the 20th century, Asti Artichokes were grown only at a marginal scale near some of the best-exposed vineyards, and were not a commercial crop. This variety still exists thanks to Egidio Gagliardi, a farmer from Mombarcelli who grew and conserved the Asti Artichoke for decades and gifted carducci to various other producers in the area to prevent its extinction. Later, the Asti Artichoke was included in a European project for the selection and promotion of local Piedmontese varieties, and the National Research Council, the Agrion Foundation, and the Department of Agricultural, Forestry, and Food Science of the University of Torino characterized the variety’s genetics at Duipuvrun Farm.
The Presidium was created to give economic, gastronomic, and historical value back to the Asti Sorì Artichoke and to increase the number of producers willing to grow this variety using agroecological methods.

Production Area
The area of the Asti hills between the Tanaro, Belbo, and Tiglione rivers, as well as some adjacent villages in Asti Province.

Supported by
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policies


The Asti Sorì Artichoke Presidium is financed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, Directorate-General for the Third Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility – notice n° 1/2018 “Slow Food in azione: le comunità protagoniste del cambiamento”, pursuant to article 72 of the Third Sector code, of legislative decree 117/2017.
Duipuvrun di Scavino Stefano
Strada Case Valle 30
Costigliole d'Asti
Tel. 3477566595
info@duipuvrun.it
facebook.com/duipuvrun
instagram.com/duipuvruncostigliole
www.duipuvrun.it


Azienda agricola Casalone Eva
Frazione Variglie 69
Asti
Tel. 3495576228
evacasalone@virgilio.it


Azienda agricola Aresca Sergio
Via Pontetto 4
Mombercelli
Tel. 3273805893
matteo.aresca@gmail.com


Valter Iguera
Via Nisorella 3
Mombercelli
Tel. 3355292629
valteriguera@libero.it

Azienda agricola Alba Rossa di Cauda Valter
Strada Albera 12
Castel Boglione
Tel. 3295653803
albarossa12@gmail.com


Lorenzo Dafarra
Strada San Michele 6
Costigliole d'Asti
Tel. 3663306613
lordafarra@yahoo.it
Presidium producers’ coordinator
Stefano Scavino
Tel. 347 7566595
info@duipuvrun.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Gabriella Chiusano
Tel. 347 5396554
gabra81@gmail.com
After a period of widespread production in the 1950s, the cultivation of Asti Artichokes declined rapidly, primarily due to the fact that this variety is harvested late in the season—indeed, by the time Asti Artichokes are available at the market, varieties from Southern Italy have already finished and prices are too low for producers to make a profit. In the second half of the 20th century, Asti Artichokes were grown only at a marginal scale near some of the best-exposed vineyards, and were not a commercial crop. This variety still exists thanks to Egidio Gagliardi, a farmer from Mombarcelli who grew and conserved the Asti Artichoke for decades and gifted carducci to various other producers in the area to prevent its extinction. Later, the Asti Artichoke was included in a European project for the selection and promotion of local Piedmontese varieties, and the National Research Council, the Agrion Foundation, and the Department of Agricultural, Forestry, and Food Science of the University of Torino characterized the variety’s genetics at Duipuvrun Farm.
The Presidium was created to give economic, gastronomic, and historical value back to the Asti Sorì Artichoke and to increase the number of producers willing to grow this variety using agroecological methods.

Production Area
The area of the Asti hills between the Tanaro, Belbo, and Tiglione rivers, as well as some adjacent villages in Asti Province.

Supported by
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policies


The Asti Sorì Artichoke Presidium is financed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, Directorate-General for the Third Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility – notice n° 1/2018 “Slow Food in azione: le comunità protagoniste del cambiamento”, pursuant to article 72 of the Third Sector code, of legislative decree 117/2017.
Duipuvrun di Scavino Stefano
Strada Case Valle 30
Costigliole d'Asti
Tel. 3477566595
info@duipuvrun.it
facebook.com/duipuvrun
instagram.com/duipuvruncostigliole
www.duipuvrun.it


Azienda agricola Casalone Eva
Frazione Variglie 69
Asti
Tel. 3495576228
evacasalone@virgilio.it


Azienda agricola Aresca Sergio
Via Pontetto 4
Mombercelli
Tel. 3273805893
matteo.aresca@gmail.com


Valter Iguera
Via Nisorella 3
Mombercelli
Tel. 3355292629
valteriguera@libero.it

Azienda agricola Alba Rossa di Cauda Valter
Strada Albera 12
Castel Boglione
Tel. 3295653803
albarossa12@gmail.com


Lorenzo Dafarra
Strada San Michele 6
Costigliole d'Asti
Tel. 3663306613
lordafarra@yahoo.it
Presidium producers’ coordinator
Stefano Scavino
Tel. 347 7566595
info@duipuvrun.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Gabriella Chiusano
Tel. 347 5396554
gabra81@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionPiedmont