Naturally red, unexpectedly sweet, and pleasantly crunchy: this is the identity of the Cipolla Rossa di Tropea Calabria.
It has been guaranteed since 2008 by the Protected Geographical Status brand, used by producers on the medium-high Calabrian Tyrrhenian coast who adhere strictly to the Production Regulations. Its origin, authenticity and quality are also ensured by the protective Consortium of the same name.
In Italy, many varieties of onion are cultivated, but the Cipolla Rossa di Tropea Calabria, although not the most common, is undoubtedly the most famous. At home and abroad. Not only for the characteristics that make it a unique product, but also for the historical and cultural value that are still so alive and present today.
According to various historical and bibliographical sources, it was the Phoenicians and later the Greeks that introduced the onion into the Mediterranean basin and into Calabria, also contributing to its spread thanks to the trad e routes of the time which used the stretch of coast from Fiumefredd o Bruzio up to Nicotera. The fame of this Rossa di Tropea has increased over time: the many travelers who arrived in Calabria between the 1700s and 1800s and who visited the Tyrrhenian coast from Pizzo to Tropea, spoke of these onions and sang their gastronomic praises.
The cultivar, also called the “Red Gold of Calabria”, prefers fresh soils, of medium texture and relatively loose, overlooking the sea. The plots bordering the Tyrrhenian coast are the right ones: they enjoy a perfect texture, are not very compact, and are characterized by mild weather conditions that are ideal for this product. It seems that it is this mild climate without temperature fluctuations during the winter that causes the unmistakably sweet flavor that characterizes the Rossa di Tropea and which makes it different from all of the others.
The climatic conditions of the area of production, which includes the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro and Vibo Valentia, are, therefore, along with the unique genetic makeup of the product and human ingenuity, the creators of the excellent physico-chemical and organoleptic characteristics of this onion that is not only delicious, but also equipped with innumerable healing properties.
Once you have tried using it in the kitchen, you will never go back... There are so many recipes, both in Calabrian and Italian cuisine, where the Rossa di Tropea cannot be missed. From the classic frittata to the salad of fresh vegetables, from first courses to fish, especially cod, and even marmalade.
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