The red onion from Tropea 1

The red onion from Tropea (basic notions 1)



It is the bulb of three native ecotypes, of the Allium Cepa species, which differ from each other in terms of shape and earliness of bulbification resulting from the influence of the photoperiod.

Terms used

- Bulb. The underground shoot (not root) of a plant

- Species. Set of organisms that can mate with each other and generate fertile offspring (a tomato and an onion cannot mate with each other and therefore are of different species)

- Ecotype. Within a species there are certain elements that share certain characteristics: this set of elements is called a subspecies. The characteristics of some subspecies (also called varieties) are closely linked to the environment in which the subspecies live: they (the subspecies) are called ecotypes.

- Photoperiod. Duration of the daily light period (hours of light in a day). It varies depending on the season (in truth it varies continuously throughout the year)

Rudimentary explanation

Among all the onions there is one (the Tropea one) that nature gives us in three variants (the ecotypes) which differ from each other in the shape and the cultivation and bulbification period. These ecotypes, as such, have characteristics, especially organoleptic, closely linked to their environment which is the coast of the Capo Vaticano promontory which has unique geological, geographical and pedoclimatic characteristics. The three ecotypes are:

- the red onion from Tropea “Tondo Piatta” or primaticcia, grown in October-November and harvested in April-May, with a spheroidal shape

- the "Mezza Campana" or medium early, grown in December-January and harvested in May-June, with a spinning top shape

- the "Allungata" or late, grown in February-March and harvested in June-July, shaped like a rugby ball.

Each of these ecotypes

- it can be harvested/consumed when it is still immature, i.e. when the bulb has not yet developed and is called "spring onion" (not to be confused with the "Allium fistolosum" variety),

- it can be eaten as soon as it is harvested and is called a raw onion,

- it can be preserved, after a first drying of the external tunic, and is called “onion to preserve”.