The Italian growers' association Aop Luce is introducing a new vegetable this winter, cavolo nero, or black cabbage. "This reference, considered a superfood, is conquering more and more space on the national market. Previously it was limited to the region of Tuscany, which is home to a long culinary tradition. The harvest is carried out between November and January and will continue in February. We have a limited harvest, but that allows us to manage it optimally," said the president Felice Petrillo.
Currently, winter cultivation is in full swing in the Fondi Plain. These include different types of lettuce, courgettes with and without flowers and black cabbage.
"The harvest of lettuce started in the first days of November, as in previous years, but prices have been low from the beginning and have not been able to recover. Even now, prices are still low and are even €0.20 per kilo, which is below the average for this period. The crop is of excellent quality, this applies to all varieties including Trocadero, Gentilina and Romana. The quantities are perhaps a bit too much compared to what the market can absorb. Consumption is low and is not really taking off. We will continue harvesting until the end of March and we hope that the situation will improve by then," said Petrillo.
"The trend for courgettes is rather variable. Between October and November the situation was quite stable, with low quantities and decent prices. In December, sales were quite slow and only in the period around Christmas the situation picked up. That was the only peak, because after that it collapsed again and only about ten days ago the situation stabilized again. We have now started the harvest in Fondi and Sperlonga and prices are good. This is because of the reduced quantities due to the cold, wet weather, and because of the lack over overlap with crops from other areas. The only competition is from Sicily."
"In terms of quality, there are some problems with the flowers of the zucchini due to the humidity of the last few weeks. The excessive rain has thrown a spanner in the works, but it will be solved in the short-term. If everything proceeds as planned, the quantities will start to increase gradually until the end of spring. We can also see that the trend for dark green courgettes has been negative in autumn due to surplus production in Spain and Sicily. Only over the past few days we have seen an improvement due to a decrease of the quantities available," concluded Petrillo.