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Bassano White Asparagus

The town of Bassano del Grappa and a handful of other municipalities in the province of Vicenza make up the production area of the latest product in Veneto Region to be awarded the P.D.O. designation. The area along the Brenta river offers ideal conditions for asparagus growing, with sandy, light, well-drained and slightly calcareous soil and a particularly mild climate. These soil and climate conditions lend themselves to a product whose sweetish aroma blends with a hint of bitterness, a balance of flavours highly appreciated among consumers.

Local use of asparagus dates back centuries. Legend has it that Saint Anthony of Padua first introduced the vegetable to the region when he visited the area to appease the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano. It is also linked to the Saint with its traditional harvesting season ending on 13 June, the anniversary of his death in Padua in 1231.

Early documents mentioning asparagus crops in the area date back to the Venetian Republic. When in season, the delicacy was a permanent fixture at the lavish banquets held by the nobility, and trade flourished.

Only the local ecotype of asparagus spears, the variety named Comune – or Chiaro – of Bassano, may bear the P.D.O. designation. They are pinkish-white, well-shaped, straight and whole, with firmly closed crowns. They must not be hollow, broken, split or peeling. The fibre content must be low to ensure exquisite tenderness; woody stems are not accepted. Besides its bitter-sweet taste, its palatable texture is the most precious quality of the Bassano asparagus, a characteristic best appreciated when just picked.


Cider & Natural Cider

Sidra (or cider) production in the region known as Green Spain began in the late 11th century when farmers planted apple orchards and began producing cider. Over time, as Asturias became the central cider-producing area of Spain, strong traditions developed and define what we now identify as Spanish cider. Sidra is a tart and refreshing beverage made from fermented fresh apple must. Apple trees grow prolifically on the rolling hills of the rural landscape, making cider a local culinary staple. The beverage can only be made from a concoction of the 22 specific apple varieties grown in the region and must be comprised of at least 5% alcohol.