After the first frost, broccoletto di Custoza, a winter vegetable typical of the hills around Sommacampagna, becomes the star of Veronese tables. The broccoletto di Custoza season is very short, from mid-December to around mid-February, also in terms of quantity, since the production area is restricted to the Custoza area only. In this time frame, the event also returns, which for 25 years has offered a rich programme of events and tastings organised by local associations to promote the local vegetable.
The 2024 festival edition offers tastings and highly anticipated themed evenings in the various restaurants that will create dishes and menus based on the exquisite broccoletto. Lastly, the Associazione Produttori Broccoletto di Custoza (Custoza Broccoletto Producers’ Association) will be holding its traditional Piazza festival until 4 February, the day on which the Broccoletto Bike Run will also be held. For the entire duration of the event, which will be held in a heated marquee in Piazza Nuova Custoza, chefs will prepare traditional broccoletto dishes, revisited in a modern key.
Since 2012, the broccoletto of Custoza has been included in the national list of traditional food products of the Veneto Region, and in 2016 it became a Slow Food presidium, another important step towards its dissemination and gastronomic awareness. Belonging to the cruciferous family, it is a short-stemmed plant, an ancient vegetable related to turnip greens. It survives in lean and poor soils, but in the kitchen it is a surprising ingredient, tasty, delicate and lends itself to many different preparations, from sauces and fillings to the preparation of bread, breadsticks and cakes. Thanks to its many health-promoting properties, it is also an officinal vegetable: its ribs are rich in vitamins, sugars and mineral salts.