Born from a cross between the Treviso red radicchio and the escarole endive, the Variegato di Castelfranco is one of the most prized radicchio , IGP since 1996. As for the Rosso, the heads of the Variegato radicchio are subjected to forcing / bleaching, ie covered for 10-15 days in order to deprive them of the chlorophyll pigments.
In this way the leaves highlight the typical red-violet streaks on a creamy white background. The shape is similar to that of salad heads, with large leaves open to rose (this is done by hand) and a jagged edge, while the taste recalls the bitterness of Rosso, but sweeter and more delicate.
The crunchy texture makes the Variegated radicchio ideal to taste in salads, but it can also be used in the kitchen, as long as the cooking is very short. Variegato di Castelfranco is grown in the territories provided for by the IGP (Treviso, Padua and Venice) and produced in over 130 tons; harvested from October, it is on the market until March. In Veneto, where 50% of the Italian radicchio production is concentrated, other types of variegated are also produced, including that of Lusia (obtained in the 1970s) which is not subjected to forcing.