Franchi Seeds 1783 Red Onion Of Genova Seeds
Endangered - on the Slow Food 'Ark of Taste' (by using you are supporting Biodiversity).
S6 - a classic flat, red Onion, used widely across Italy. The Red Genovese onion is a spherical onion, lightly flattened at the poles. It’s medium sized and sweet tasting, so can also be used raw in salads, as well as for cooking. You can harvest it as a young, fresh onion, or in a more mature form.
- Approximate seeds quantity: @840
- Sow from: February - March and harvest July - August
- Horticultural name: Allium cepa
It is mainly cultivated in Val Graveglia, in the inland areas of Chiavari, Lavagna and Sestri Levante in eastern Liguria. It is also known by the name of Zerli onion, from the name of a town in the area.
It is eaten mainly raw or as an ingredient in the savoury tarts traditional to this area of Liguria, like the Bicocca, made with potatoes and lard. The harvest is usually done in two phases: cipollotto (young, fresh onion) and in its mature form. This is the result of a traditional cultural practice of seeding a high number of onions per square meter at the time of transplant, then gradually thinning the harvest.
In April and May, it is possible to eat the greens of the onion, leaving the bulb to mature in the soil to be collected in June or July, at which point it can be harvested for cooking.
The onion was considered an excessively nutrient-draining crop, so much so that in some land lease contracts it was listed as a prohibited crop. This was because of the use of fertilizers that did not include nitrogen, and for this reason, it should be preceded in fields by a legume crop. Today, while it is appreciated in its production zone, it is little known in neighbouring areas. Therefore, many are unaware of its unique culinary properties and do not seek the variety out compared to other types of red onions, or give any economic reason to encourage farmers to cultivate this variety.