🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

What plant is chicoria, the green Italians revere but the rest of the world disregards as a "weed"?

I go out of my way in Italy to find chicoria on the menu. On a recent trip, a local told me only the Italians understand the merits of what some people consider a weed. I love weeds! Give me chlorophyl-rich food like leaves & I am happy as a slug. Can someone please help me identify the plant so that while wandering on foot I will spot dinner & avoid trampling a humble vegetable? Thanks.

asked by eliza 2 months ago

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

7 answers 627 views
B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 2 months ago

I believe you are referring to "Cicoria," which is related to dandelions. Many search results are here, which you may find helpful: https://www.google.com... ;o)

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

Yes, cicoria. Maybe I need a field guide now.

83b2f7bb 6d57 4b26 a96e f27f66b1e409  14355058 10103657439758468 7616383974552013464 n
added 2 months ago

Chicory. It is readily available on roadsides, unkempt lawns, etc. I find chicory greens to be even more bitter than dandelion, but to each their own..

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

Hmm. The chicory growing on the roadside -- the one in bloom now with the periwinkle blue flowers whose roots are used as a coffee substitute (as if...) -- is not the same as the cicoria used as a leafy green. I believe cicoria is a different plant. After I posted my question, hounded by a burning desire to become more intimate with this green, I discovered the value of this plant throughout history, from the ancients onward. However, I did not discover where I can find it growing wild in the U.S.

83b2f7bb 6d57 4b26 a96e f27f66b1e409  14355058 10103657439758468 7616383974552013464 n
added 2 months ago

Part of the confusion might be that there's a lot of things classified as "cicoria," and I'm not sure which chicory relative you're referring to. I've seen recipes that call for common roadside chicory (really not my favorite ingredient though). cv went into chicory types, and most of these are readily available in grocery stores. I only dabble in foraging and I'm no expert, but I've never seen wild versions of these grocery store regulars in the mid-atlantic US.

83b2f7bb 6d57 4b26 a96e f27f66b1e409  14355058 10103657439758468 7616383974552013464 n
added 2 months ago

Maybe this blog post is closer to what you're referring to? https://racheleats.wordpress...

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added 2 months ago

This plant is common chicory, Cichorium intybus which is unfortunately often confused with Cichorium endivia.

The two most commonly grown cultivars of Cichorium endivia are curly endive (often confusingly called curly chicory in the USA) and escarole.

Cichorium intybus has multiple cultivars, the common ones being radicchio, the puntarelle subfamily (including Catalogna), and Belgium endive (the ghostly white leaf plant that is cultivated in complete darkness).

When an Italian is talking about cicoria, they are talking about Cichorium intybus.

Read the Wikipedia entries for both species.

Much confusion is a direct result of ambiguous common American names of various cultivars.

Note that dandelion, while related, is a completely different genus but all fall under the Asteraceae family.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Loading…

Reset
Password

  Enter your email below and we'll send you instructions on how to reset your password

Account Created

Welcome!

Logged In

Enjoy!

Email Sent

Please check your email for instructions
on how to reset your password

Successfully logged out

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.