Last week, the Nonino family announced the winners of the 2012 Premio Nonino (Nonino Prize).
The coveted Premio Nonino Risit d’Âur (Nonino Golden Rootstock Prize) went this year to the Gardeners of Gorizia (Friuli) “who have jealously handed down, from generation to generation, the precious seeds of the ‘Rose of Gorizia’ for over one hundred and fifty years.”
The “rose” of Gorizia is actually a variety of chicory or radicchio (above).
In leaner times, cultivation of the rose was a source of income for farmers during winter months. And it is still typically served today in winter salads.
Similar to but more intense in flavor than the radicchio veronese commonly found in northern Italy and now cultivated in the U.S., the rose of Gorizia remains a marvel of nature for its unique beauty and rich color.