The carciofo romanesco del Lazio IGP (PGI Roman artichoke of the Lazio region), also known as the “cimarolo” or “mammola”, has a round and compact shape, with a diameter greater than 10 centimetres, and does not have any spines.
It is traditionally grown in the Lazio coastal area, in particular the area of Cerveteriand Ladispoli, as witnessed by artichoke leaves that are depicted in some of the tombs in the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia.
This vegetable is widely used in Roman-Jewish cuisineto prepare the much-loved dish of Giudia artichokes, which open up like flowers after being well fried, and Roman artichokes, which are instead filled with garlic, parsley and mint and then cooked for a long time in water and white wine.
The product is governed by Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status,and is safeguarded by the Consortium for the protection of the Roman Artichoke.
Available from November to April, it is feted with an importantfair held every year towards the end of April at Ladispoli.
It is not only a mouth-watering opportunity for savouring the unmistakeable flavour of this vegetable, but also for visiting the surrounding areas with their wealth of tourist attractions: Castello di Santa Severa (Santa Severa Castle) in the nearby area of Santa Marinella, Castello Palo Odescalchi (Palo Odescalchi Castle) near Ladispoli and Necropoli della Banditaccia (Banditaccia Necropolis)in adjacent Cerveteri.
Here are the two best-known recipes for the Roman artichoke, especially for fans of good food. Giudia Artichokes Ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
Remove the outermost tough leaves from the artichokes and leave a piece of stalk after cutting off the hardest part. Cut away the sides of the artichoke head and cut off the top of the artichoke leaves. Plunge the artichokes into water and lemon juice to prevent them from blackening. Wash with the acidic water and dry. Take an artichoke and beat against the table so that the flower opens well and the stalk remains straight. After they have been seasoned with salt and pepper, they should be placed in this same position in a frying pan with plenty of oil, enough to allow them to float. When the outside parts turn dark in colour, sprinkle a little cool water on to make the leaves of the artichokes crunchy. Serve hot. Roman artichokes
1/2 glass of dry white wine
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Roman mint salt
Remove the outermost leaves from the artichokes and leave a piece of stalk, plunge them into water and lemon juice. Chop the parsley with the mint and garlic. Open the leaves of the artichokes slightly and insert the chopped herbs (prepared in advance) inside, together with the salt. Place the upturned artichokes in an oven dish with high edges. Cover the artichokes with oil and water. Bake in the oven at 200° for one hour, until all the liquid has evaporated.