Artichokes are grown in Sicily in the provinces of Palermo, Catania and Agrigento, but the countryside around Menfi is the best suited to the crop. Over 600 hectares are planted with artichokes, of which only 10 are used for the traditional Menfi spiny variety. This was once the only artichoke grown in the area, but in the early 1980s, more productive varieties became available—Tema 2000, Violet de Provence, Romanesco—able to diversify the market and extend the harvest season.
A small group of farmers has continued to grow this ecotype, which is only found at local markets and in Palermo, Agrigento and Trapani. The spiny artichoke has excellent flavor and is high in lignin, making it better for cooking and preservation.
The artichokes are harvested from December to April
Menfi, Selinunte, Castelvetrano, Partanna, Montevago, Santa Margherita Belìce, Sciacca and Sambuca di Sicilia Municipalities, Trapani and Agrigento Provinces
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