Carciofo Brindisino PGI is a fresh artichoke belonging to the Cynara cardunculus species, Scolymus (L.) sub-species, of the Carciofo Brindisino ecotype.
The production area of Carciofo Brindisino PGI is within the territory of several municipalities in the Province of Brindisi, in the Apulia region.
The propagation material must come from plants with the typical characteristics of the local ecotype and consists of basal shoots, ovuli, stump or seedlings. Before planting it is necessary to till the soil deeply and to then work the surface soil. Field planting takes place between July and October and harvesting begins at the beginning of November, continuing right up until the May of the following year. The artichokes must be handpicked, with the stalk being cut at a length not exceeding 10 cm and preferably with one or two leaves. All of the procedures must be carried out with extreme care in order to avoid damaging the buds, which being easily perishable must then be kept in a cool, covered and ventilated place. They must be prepared for packaging as soon as possible after harvesting. Preparation includes destalking, trimming and the removal of the outer bracts, after which the artichokes are packaged and labelled.
Appearance and Flavour
Carciofo Brindisino PGI is characterised by its cylindrical buds (at least 8 cm high, with a diameter of at least 6 cm). The outer bracts are green with purple hues and the inner bracts are a greenish white. The stalk is thin to medium and the bracts are tender and fleshy with a mild and tasty flavour.
The first references to the consumption of Carciofo Brindisino date back to 1700, in particular to several recipes found in the Oria and Otranto Seminars, which document the habitual consumption of artichoke-based dishes. The first statistical surveys started in 1930, following an increase in artichoke cultivations in the Province of Brindisi, and covered an area of approximately 60 hectares, concentrated mainly in the municipalities of Carovigno, Mesagne, Brindisi and San Vito dei Normanni. Over a period of about forty years, the area destined for artichoke cultivation increased dramatically, arriving at more than 100 hectares in 1946 and 9.000 in the 1980s.
Carciofo Brindisino PGI is a very delicate vegetable and should be kept in a cool, dry place. It should be consumed within a few days after buying. It can also be kept in the fridge; the harder outer leaves and stem should be removed and the product washed in water and lemon juice, placing it in a plastic bag or hermetically sealed container after thoroughly drying. In this way, the artichoke can be conserved for 5-6 days. Due to its particularly sweet flavour and tenderness, it is ideal in crudité. It is excellent for preparing many traditional Apulia recipes: in a simple pasta with cherry tomatoes, basil and chilli, “artichoke parmigiana” or the so-called “artichoke alla Brindisina”, where the buds are stuffed with bread, olives, capers, mint, garlic and onion and then placed on a bed of sliced potatoes before being oven-baked.
The product is marketed as Carciofo Brindisino PGI. It is available on the market from November and is packaged in recipients that must be made of material of plant origin, cardboard or other recyclable material. Each confection contains at least 1 artichoke and up to a maximum of 25. The commercial categories are Extra and First.
Carciofo Brindisino PGI is an early season vegetable and is available before artichokes cultivated in other geographical areas.