San Luca Violet Artichoke

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Emilia Romagna

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

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San Luca Violet Artichoke

In the first half of the last century, the San Luca Artichoke was one of the main crops grown on the hillsides south of Bologna. Violet artichokes are also very common in the Romagna area, but their cultivation in the clayey soil of the Bolognese hills gives the San Luca Artichokes a fresh, herbaceous flavor, with notes of licorice root. The older generations remember how, thanks to these characteristics, the variety was once appreciated and known across the region, representing a significant source of pride—and income—for the local growers. With the depopulation of the countryside in the 1970s, this variety also began to be abandoned. These days, the farms that used to be home to the most productive artichoke fields have been turned into luxury residences with aesthetic rather than functional gardens.

The plant’s life cycle starts in September and runs until the following July. The artichoke plants like clayey soil with good drainage. The soil must be kept loose and aerated. Irrigation must be carefully managed, avoiding an excess of water particularly during the spring. Weeds cannot be controlled using chemical weedkillers. Usually the soil is fertilized twice, in the summer and the spring. The most prized artichokes are the primary and secondary heads, which are harvested between the middle of May and the middle of June. As with the majority of artichokes, reproduction is agamic, in other words not through seeds but using the many side shoots known as cardetti or carducci. Once removed, they can generate new plants. For this reason, the valuable preservation work of the local growers has maintained a product very similar to what was being cultivated in the last century.

San Luca Violet Artichokes can be eaten raw or briefly boiled and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and salt, but they can also be preserved in oil or turned in spreads and pâtés. The carducci, the extra shoots that are cut off from the plant in the autumn and early spring (during the scarducciatura), are also used in various products.

Season

Harvest between mid-May and mid-June, processed it is available all year round

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There is not much left today of the artichoke fields that once covered the hillsides near Bologna, nor of the artichokes and carducci (shoots) that abounded on local tables. The San Luca Artichoke owes its survival to the efforts of the Albertazzi family, who live in the hills outside of Bologna and have safeguarded this variety, as well as the precious recipe for artichokes preserved in oil. In 2005, Bruno Albertazzi started distributing San Luca Artichoke carducci to other farmers in the area. With support from agriculture department of Emilia-Romagna, the regional Slow Food association joined this initiative and has helped to bring producers into the network with the creation of a Presidium. The production protocol drawn up by the Presidium producers calls for organic farming practices (to manage the soil, control weeds, and ensure good drainage) and the use of organic substances as fertilizers. The San Luca Artichoke is a rustic plant, so no defense treatments are required. The protocol's main objective is to support the producers in their work, protect and promote the San Luca Artichoke, and involve cooks from the region.

Production area
Hills south of Bologna, municipalities of Bologna, Ozzano, Pianoro and San Lazzaro di Savena, Province of Bologna.

Produttori
Bruno Albertazzi
Via degli Scalini, 14
Bologna
Tel. +39 338 4392128
raffaele.rubini@gmail.com

Istituto Arrigo Serpieri
Via Vittorio Paglion, 25
Bologna
bois00600t@istruzione.it
www.istitutoserpieri.gov.it/default.asp

Podere San Giuliano
di Federica Frattini
Via Galletta, 3
San Lazzaro di Savena (Bo)
Tel. +39 348 7635790
federica.frattini@poderesangiuliano.it
www.poderesangiuliano.it

Querzé
di Andrea Querzé
Via Tomba Forella, 14 A
San Lazzaro di Savena (Bo)
Tel. +39 331 7745851
andrea1970querze@gmail.com

Matteo Scarpellini
Via del Cavicchio, 26
Pianoro (Bo)
Tel. +39 340 7429598
matteoscarpellini1@gmail.com
Presidium producers’ coordinator
Federica Frattini
Tel. +39 348 7635790
federica.frattini@poderesangiuliano.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Raffaela Donati
Tel. +39 338 6053611
donati.raffaela@gmail.com
There is not much left today of the artichoke fields that once covered the hillsides near Bologna, nor of the artichokes and carducci (shoots) that abounded on local tables. The San Luca Artichoke owes its survival to the efforts of the Albertazzi family, who live in the hills outside of Bologna and have safeguarded this variety, as well as the precious recipe for artichokes preserved in oil. In 2005, Bruno Albertazzi started distributing San Luca Artichoke carducci to other farmers in the area. With support from agriculture department of Emilia-Romagna, the regional Slow Food association joined this initiative and has helped to bring producers into the network with the creation of a Presidium. The production protocol drawn up by the Presidium producers calls for organic farming practices (to manage the soil, control weeds, and ensure good drainage) and the use of organic substances as fertilizers. The San Luca Artichoke is a rustic plant, so no defense treatments are required. The protocol's main objective is to support the producers in their work, protect and promote the San Luca Artichoke, and involve cooks from the region.

Production area
Hills south of Bologna, municipalities of Bologna, Ozzano, Pianoro and San Lazzaro di Savena, Province of Bologna.

Produttori
Bruno Albertazzi
Via degli Scalini, 14
Bologna
Tel. +39 338 4392128
raffaele.rubini@gmail.com

Istituto Arrigo Serpieri
Via Vittorio Paglion, 25
Bologna
bois00600t@istruzione.it
www.istitutoserpieri.gov.it/default.asp

Podere San Giuliano
di Federica Frattini
Via Galletta, 3
San Lazzaro di Savena (Bo)
Tel. +39 348 7635790
federica.frattini@poderesangiuliano.it
www.poderesangiuliano.it

Querzé
di Andrea Querzé
Via Tomba Forella, 14 A
San Lazzaro di Savena (Bo)
Tel. +39 331 7745851
andrea1970querze@gmail.com

Matteo Scarpellini
Via del Cavicchio, 26
Pianoro (Bo)
Tel. +39 340 7429598
matteoscarpellini1@gmail.com
Presidium producers’ coordinator
Federica Frattini
Tel. +39 348 7635790
federica.frattini@poderesangiuliano.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Raffaela Donati
Tel. +39 338 6053611
donati.raffaela@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionEmilia Romagna