Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI is a fresh vegetable belonging to the Asparagus officinalis L. species, deriving from Precoce d’Argenteuil, Larac, Dariana, Cumulus, Darbella, Vittorio, Voltaire, and Zeno cultivars. A maximum of 20% of other cultivars may be present.
The production area of Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI is within the municipalities of Cimadolmo, Brede di Piave, Fontanelle, Mareno di Piave, Maserada sul Piave, Oderzo, Ormelle, Ponte di Piave, Santa Lucia di Piave and Vazzola, in the Province of Treviso, in the Veneto region.
Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI is grown in sandy-limey alluvial soil, which is permeable and carefully drained. Planting takes place between March and April, using only the leg roots or disease-free plants. Asparagus or other Liliaceae can only be planted every two years; they cannot be planted immediately after chard, potatoes, carrots or legumes. Mulching is mandatory, which involves the soil being covered with dark sheets made from suitable material. This cultivation method serves to maintain the white colour of the asparagus, as the lack of light blocks natural photosynthesis. Covering the soil also impedes the growth of weeds. The turions are hand-picked during the coolest hours of the day when the light is less intense. Harvesting of Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI begins three years after they are first planted. The first turions are harvested on around the first days of March, in a time frame of 15-20 days for the third year of planting, 40-60 days for the fourth year and onwards. In all cases, the harvest must be completed by May 30th. The asparagus, either in bunches or in bulk, are sent to the processing centre within 12 hours of the harvest, where they are refrigerated.
Appearance and Flavour
Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI has long, pure white turions, which are tender, sweet and not fibrous. They should be unbroken with a fresh smell and not show any signs of bruising. They should be clean and not moist after having been washed or left in cold water in the fridge. They shouldn’t be empty, cracked, skinless or split. The smell and taste are particularly delicate. This asparagus is rich in essential minerals, in particular calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, and vitamins such as vitamin C, riboflavin and folic acid. It is low in calories and carbohydrates and is a good source of protein.
Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI has ancient origins. Although already known by the Egyptians and Romans, evidence of its cultivation is first found in the works of a few historical writers, such as I centodieci ricordi che formano il buon fattore di Villa, written by Agostinetti in 1679, which today is kept in the archives of the Municipality of Cimadolmo. The diffusion of this cultivation in the Veneto region is actually quite recent. It can be traced back to less than half a century ago, when the breeding of silkworms in the area ceased and asparagus cultivation took its place, above all in Cimadolmo.
Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI does not keep for long: it can be kept in the fridge for a few days. It should only be eaten cooked and makes an ideal side dish, although it can also be used as part of a main dish, like the extremely tasty and much-loved “asparagus and eggs”, which is made with oil, butter and black pepper. It can also be used in dishes such as crêpes and risotto or grated and added to omelettes. It is used in numerous recipes created by Treviso chefs.
The product is marketed as Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI, in two categories: Extra or First. It is packaged in bunches weighing between 0.5 kg and 1 kg, or layered in individual boxes.
The temperate-humid climate, characterised by springs with heavy rainfall, enables Asparago Bianco di Cimadolmo PGI to grow at a very quick rate and gives the asparagus its distinctive qualities: tenderness, whiteness and absence of stringiness.