In Liguria – an area almost exclusively hills and mountains – farming is mainly focused on vegetables and herbs, like Genovese basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage and bay.
Our signature vegetables are:
Trombetta courgette: the name “trombetta” (trumpet) is due to its slender, tubular appearance with slightly bulging ends. The flesh is pale yellow in colour, tender, dense, not at all watery, and with a delicate and distinctive flavour.
Beef tomatoes: large and irregular, with smooth, thin skin.It is very tasty, aromatic, almost tangy, with very few seeds in the flesh.
Albenga artichoke: besides its slightly purple colour, the Albenga artichoke is distinctive for the consistency of its inner leaves, which are exceptionally tender, crunchy and sweet, perfect for eating raw, dipped in oil. In Taggiasca extra-virgin olive oil, of course.
Vessalico garlic: Vessalico garlic from the Upper Arroscia Valley is of the white variety.The bulb is medium to large in size, regular and compact in shape, with about 6-8 cloves. For at least four hundred years, farmers in the area have passed down the bulbs and the secrets of its cultivation. This includes the technique of not cutting the roots and leaves from the “garlic heads”, instead weaving them together into long braids called “reste”, which keep for even a year.
Perinaldo Artichoke: This variety of artichoke, commonly known as “French violet”, is cultivated exclusively in Perinaldo and on the high ground of the bordering Provence, at an altitude of between 400 and 600 metres. Its heart is delicate: straw yellow in colour, it turns a slightly purple hue as it ripens.
Genovese PDO Basil: produced with the EU “Protected Designation of Origin” status, attributed to foods whose qualities are due to the characteristics of a specific area and to local production methods. The environment of Liguria and its traditional farming makes for a inimitable product.
Pigna, Badalucco and Conio White beans: in the vast world of beans, the varieties from Badalucco, Conio and Pigna are all white.Soft, delicate and meaty, they are a Slow Food Presidium.They can be rightfully considered the true pearls of Ligure di Ponente cuisine.
Violet asparagus: Unmistakable for its large spears and the deep purple colour that gradually shades to cream towards the base, the Albenga violet asparagus is one of its kind in the world.Its highly unusual colour is not due to cultivation techniques, but to its genetic heritage.