The town of Rosolini lies between the provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse, at the foot of the Iblei mountains and a few kilometers from the Noto Valley.
Founded by the Byzantines and conquered by the Arabs, Rosolini is rich in history and culture and also an important economic center. It was known for agriculture and particularly famed for its almonds, olives, wheat and broad beans.
Until the end of the 1960s, every family had a horse or a mule and a “salina,” a pit dug in the ground where the manure collected from the stable was kept. Often a perennial local variety of brassica similar to collard greens and known as cavolo vecchio (“old cabbage”), would be planted around the edge of the pit.
The particularly long-lived plant (up to six or seven years) would be planted out between July and August and begin to produce the first leaves for cutting from the beginning of October, continuing until the end of March. The seeds were reproduced by the families and the greens were cultivated only for home consumption.
Rosolini Cavolo Vecchio were found on every table in the Iblea area, and particularly in and around Modica. Today the greens are still grown in family plots together with other vegetables or planted around the edge of gardens to exploit the variety’s longevity.
Harvested between August and March, the greens are eaten fresh.
Over time, as happens with all marginal crops, Rosolini Cavolo Vecchio risked extinction, due to the on-going abandonment of agriculture and the fact that the variety was being forgotten.
Two years ago the U.O.S. (Specialized Operational Unit) in Ispica, along with a few local associations, brought together a group of young producers. Thanks to the receptiveness of a nursery that has been reproducing the plants, production has begun to be revived.
The support of the Sicilian Regional Authority’s Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Mediterranean Fishing has made it possible to establish a Slow Food Presidium, with the aim of reviving and relaunching this rare long-lived type of leafy green. Local people and restaurants serving traditional cuisine are very enthusiastic about the reintroduction of the heritage vegetable.
Carmelo Adamo, Rosolini (Sr), Contrada Perpetua, Tel. +39 329 1138231, email@example.com
Salvatore Barone, Rosolini (Sr), Contrada Pernicia, Tel. +39 328 9388240, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barreca Corrado, Rosolini (Sr), Via Trilussa 5, Tel. +39 377 4213263
Carmela Cavallo, Rosolini (Sr), Via Tiepolo 22, Tel. +39 329 7859861, email@example.com
Salvatore Di Pasquale, Rosolini (Sr), Via Rimembranza 9 A, Tel. +39 328 3659106, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alessandro Fancello, Noto (Sr), Contrada San Paolo, Tel. +39 338 4890986, email@example.com
Piergiorgio Gerratana, Rosolini(Sr), Via Gonzaga 40, Tel. +39 328 3199734, firstname.lastname@example.org
Valle Del Tellaro, di Gianluca Pannocchietti e Nicola Agosta, , Rosolini (Sr), Via Sipione 60, Tel. +39 333 6835729 / +39 334 2305204, email@example.com