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US: Frieda’s introduces new artichoke varieties to Southern California

Specialty produce pioneer, Frieda’s, Inc. recently launched their first annual Locally Grown Artichoke Festival in Southern California, April 25 – May 6. Over the two-week period, Frieda’s partnered exclusively with Ralphs Grocery Company and Maria’s Italian Kitchen to introduce consumers to three new artichoke varieties grown at Baroda Farms in Lompoc, California, and distributed exclusively by Frieda’s.

The Sangria Artichoke has a deep burgundy color, pointed shape and meaty leaves with nutty and earthy flavors. The Fiore Viola Artichoke has a deep purple color, round shape and very meaty leaves with a sweeter artichoke flavor. The Fiesole (fee-ay-so-lay) are baby purple artichokes that do not have an inner choke and are almost entirely edible. 

"My brother and I are partners with the Italian government in developing new red artichoke varieties. These three new varieties are the outcome of collaboration with French and Italian breeders," stated Steve Jordan, the "Artichoke Evangelist" who developed these new varieties. "It’s great to see a company like Frieda’s working with their partners to get these artichokes into Southern California homes."

During the promotional period, participating Ralphs locations in the Los Angeles area built beautiful displays and promoted the three new artichoke varieties with locally grown signage created by Frieda’s.  "The artichoke quality and color were great! They were some of the best artichokes I have ever tasted," said Dan De La Rosa, Produce and Floral Merchandising at Ralphs Grocery Company. "Local and fresh from the field, the vibrant colors of the Sangria, Fiore Viola and Fiesole artichokes helped create the 'wow factor' needed to gain consumer interest, making the Artichoke Festival a big success."

Southern California-based Maria’s Italian Kitchen Restaurants served five original artichoke dishes to their diners using the three varieties.  Clientele of Maria’s Italian Kitchen were pleased to find Maria’s famous stuffed artichoke dish back on the menu during the promotion. "My mom, Maria, and I were thrilled to bring our famous Stuffed Artichoke dish back with these beautiful new purple and red artichokes from Frieda’s and Baroda Farms," said Madelyn Alfano, owner of Maria’s Italian Kitchen. "It was also great to work with Frieda’s, a fellow iconic women- and family-owned business in Southern California. Maria and Frieda Caplan made a great pair!"

Karen Caplan, Frieda’s President and CEO, said, "We are excited to bring these exclusive new artichokes to the Southern California market, and partnering with Ralphs and Maria’s Italian Kitchen was ideal."

The Sangria, Fiore Viola and Fiesole artichokes are projected to be available again in August.

For more information: 
Alex Jackson
Frieda's Inc., The Specialty Produce Company
Tel: 714-826-6100 ext. 149
Fax: 714-816-0273

Publication date: 5/30/2012


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