The Roman artichoke

No thorns, large, roundish in shape, without its prickly internal fur, the Roman artichoke is unmistakable. Not surprisingly, the “Romanesco” artichoke is grown in the Lazio region in some towns in the provinces of Rome, Viterbo and Latina, including Sezze.

The jewel in the crown of the artichoke, which grows in the middle of the plant and can reach the weight of 3 ounces, the prized “cimarolo”, is also known as violets.

The Roman artichoke must have certain characteristics: a diameter of no less than 10 cm for cimaroli and no less than 7 centimetres for the lateral fruits, a spherical shape and a green-purple colour.

The harvest period is from March to May.

The fame of this vegetable goes well beyond the boundaries of its territory, thanks to a typical Roman recipe, but now universally known: the so-called “alla giudia” artichokes, with fresh leaves, open like the petals of a rose.

But we can mention “matticella” artichokes which are traditionally prepared during the pruning of the vines, leaving them to cook slowly in the still-warm embers of burnt tendrils. The inside is stuffed with minced garlic, Roman mint and extra virgin olive oil.

Roman artichoke