Switch mode

Beautiful. Resolute.

Radicchio has only been grown here since the 1980s. One particular kind has enjoyed a very special career over the last ten years: Radicchio di Castelfranco from Veneto, with its yellow leaves, pretty red speckles and significantly finer leaf structure with fewer bitter compounds.

Swiss Deluxe Hotels Stories Winter 2023 2024 Beautiful Resolute Castelfranco Ecirgb T126

In total, there are currently around ten varieties of radicchio, most of which are grown in Northern Italy. Some are now harvested here in Switzerland, too. Early varieties are available from the summer onwards, others from late autumn to spring. Like the petal- shaped queen of the family, Radicchio Rosso di Treviso tardivo, with the protected designation of origin IGP. This particularly beautiful and distinctive vegetable is only grown in certain municipalities of the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice.

The radicchio family is a type of chicory and is related to other bitter-tasting salad leaves and vegetables. A wide range of varieties have been bred and grown, above all in Northern Italy. Radicchio’s culinary appeal lies in its diversity of flavours. With its distinctive bitter aromas, radicchio is delicious both raw and fried. Exciting pairings can be made with sweet-and-sour and fatty ingredients.

It is mainly the complex bitter aromas that make radicchio so exciting and refreshing for our taste buds. The plant’s crisp texture coupled with its veins that are firm to the bite and delicate leaves is also appealing. Radicchio goes especially well with ingredients that balance out these bitter compounds – sweet-and-sour vinegars like Aceto tradizionale di Modena or citrus fruits like blood orange, but also fatty accompaniments like cheese, fish or meat. A further classic way of cooking it is with red wine in a risotto.

Radicchio contributes exciting elements to complex dishes in terms of flavour, aesthetics and texture. And with creative and innovative techniques, there are still many different combinations to discover and try out.

It all depends on the preparation method. Raw and served with a vinegar dressing or fermented, radicchio goes well with soft, creamy white or sparkling wines from Northern Italy. If roasting flavours or fatty elements are brought into the mix, powerful, structured white wines or light red wines are also a good choice.

Words Claudio Del Principe

Related Stories

A journey of discovery through the world of Genevan wines is worth your while, as both the selection of grape varieties and the vintages pressed from these are wide-ranging and unrivalled. Within Switzerland, only the region of Valais has a line-up of grape varieties that is similar in size.

Discover more

At first glance, you could mistake one for a tomato, as they are of a similar size and round in shape. They are also bright orange to red in colouring and bear green stripes.

Discover more

Marco Campanella combines cucumber with passion fruit and in doing so makes the best ravioli in Switzerland. A profile of a culinary artist whose forthright and curious nature is reflected in every one of his dishes.

Discover more

Genevan wines are produced in a wine-growing area measuring more than 1,400 hectares, with only two other Swiss cantons having larger wine-growing areas. The West-Swiss vintages are always considered to be a hot tip outside of their home region. With a large range of grape varieties and a great deal of innovative spirit, Genevan wine growers know how to set themselves apart from their competition, as Peter Keller writes.

Discover more

‘The pandemic was a stroke of luck for us, even if it felt like the complete opposite at the time’, says Daniel Humm. The Swiss-born chef and his acclaimed restaurant in the heart of Manhattan, Eleven Madison Park, which had received every possible accolade in the culinary world by 2020, almost went bankrupt during the forced shutdown caused by COVID-19.

Discover more

In an age of transformation in which we are all striving for efficiency and sustainability and looking for new paths, the restaurant industry is no exception. Even in the fine dining scene, concepts are being reconsidered and structures adapted in order to move with the times. One remarkable discovery in this regard is blooms, the new garden restaurant at the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich.

Discover more

‘Food and drink play a key role in promoting a tourist destination,’ Dany Stauffacher says. It was with this in mind that he combined these two crucial elements in the first edition of his S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino event back in 2007.

Discover more