The history of the “edible rose”, another name for variegated radicchio, goes back centuries. It dates to the end of the nineteenth century and was obtained from a cross between the Treviso radicchio (Cichorium intybus) and the endive (Cichorium indivia).
Genetic improvements were made gradually from this point on until they obtained the marvellous salad we have today which is the pride of Venetian and Treviso horticulture. The European Community has honoured it with the Protected Geographical Designation logo: Variegated radicchio from Castelfranco - PGI.
It is a salad natural due to its bright purple leaves, but it is being increasingly used by cooks all over to create dishes with a dramatic aesthetic. It stands out for its subtle bittersweet flavour and inviting freshness. It is particularly rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium, but it also contains a high percentage of vitamin A, B2, C and PP.