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Bleaching of radicchio: how to whiten the different varieties of radicchio (from Treviso, Verona, Chioggia, late or early Treviso, spadone…). How it is done and what it is used for blanching radicchio.
Bleaching of radicchio, what it is and what it is used for
L'bleachingis a necessary practice to improve the organoleptic qualities of certain vegetables, first of all, theradicchio.
It's about atechniquea bit complex but which can also be implemented in the home garden. What is it for?To improve the taste and texture of certain vegetables. In particular, theradicchioit loses its bitter taste and acquires a sweeter aftertaste. The leaves become softer, always crunchy but less fibrous.
It is called "bleaching" because theradicchioit is placed under special tunnel greenhouses so as to keep it away from direct sunlight. With the decrease in solar radiation, the plant stops producingchlorophylland other photosensitive pigments, for this the plant tissues begin to lose color by crossing the so-calledbleaching.
Bleaching of Treviso radicchio
The Trevigiano radicchio harvest takes place from November to January - February. After the harvest we continue with thebleaching. How to do?
L'bleaching of Treviso radicchioneeds 30 days. It starts when the plants are dry, so the harvest should be done away from rain.
The radicchio plants must be harvested with the entire root and therefore not cut. The root should be approximately 15 cm long.
Wrap the radicchio in bunches of 20 - 30 plants, tie them together with rubber bands or natural raffia.
Place the decks in concrete tanks in which spring water flows at a temperature of about 11 ° C (or even a little higher). The water must never wet the leaves of but only the roots, so the bunches must be placed in a vertical position.
After a maximum period of 25 days, the radicchio must be placed in a dark environment with temperatures between 18 - 20 ° C (as in a tunnel greenhouse). In this context they are placed on a layer of sand (or a mix of sand and peat, or sand and soil).
After 4 - 5 days, the radicchio will be ready and will have taken on its classic flavor! Only at this point can the root be shortened and should not exceed 5 - 6 cm.
TheTreviso radicchioit is also known as late Treviso radicchio or spadone radicchio.
Easy bleaching, do-it-yourself method
It is true, not all of them have a concrete tank where spring water flows.
In the home you can use plastic crates and fill the bottom with sandy material. 1/4 of the perforated plastic crate must be filled with moist sand in which you will have to sink the roots of the radicchio. Here too the heads of radicchio must be placed against each other so as to keep them in a vertical position.
The boxes must then be covered with cardboard, a dark cloth or other shielding material. The sand must be kept moist but, when adding water, you should be careful not to wet the tufts, so you can also immerse 1/4 of the box in a larger tub of water. Or, you can insert a water tube inside the sand so as to moisten the substrate without wetting the leaves.
In a closed and humid environment like the one created with the cassettes, you run the risk of developing fungal diseases, so check the progress of thebleachingand, if necessary, ventilate by thinning the tufts.
With this procedure, thebleachingit cannot go beyond 15 - 20 days.
Bleaching of early Treviso radicchio and Chioggia radicchio
This kind ofbleaching of radicchioit is not suitable for theearly Treviso radicchio or the radicchio di Chioggia, in these cases, in fact, 10 days before the harvest we limit ourselves to knotting the leaves which, grouped together, will not allow the sun to reach the innermost parts.
How to whiten the radicchio of Verona
The late Verona radicchio sees ableachingsimpler, through the use of tunnels that are placed in the field from December onwards, when the tufts are now well formed.
How to do? Cover the tunnels with a black or dark cloth, capable of shielding the sun's rays and let the radicchio vegetate in low light conditions for 15-20 days. During this period you do not have to administer water but only air the tunnel every two days.