Flower heads of the artichoke, Cynarus Scolymus L. Blanca de Tudela variety, grown for consumption as fresh vegetables.
The texture is crisp and juicy. The flavor is slightly bitter and, when raw, leaves a fresh feeling in the mouth.
A green, oval-shaped, compact flower head. The white varieties develop flower heads of outstanding quality because not only is the appearance compact and pineapple-like but after cutting they are less likely to darken in color. The nutritional qualities are as follows (100g): 84% water, 3% protein, 0.4% fat, 12% carbohydrates, 3% fiber, 43 mg calcium, 2 mg iron, 260 mg vitamin A, 160 mg vitamin B1 and 4 mg vitamin C.
Cultivation is carried out manually, from the selection of the cuttings to harvesting, when the crop is inspected daily so that only perfectly ripe artichokes are picked. Farmers carry out all the different stages with care and know-how based on their experience and the professionalism and tradition of several generations.
Plants are propagated by cuttings taken from the mother plant, planted out from July to August. Irrigation is carried out in the traditional way along furrows, or by drip irrigation, this being the most rational method as it helps in fertilization and reduces labor. Weeds are removed by hand or using authorized chemicals. The crop is staggered from approximately October right through to May, with a slight pause in January. When they reach commercial size, the artichokes are picked, using a sharp knife and including up to 10 cm of the stem. They are then sent to the packaging plant where they are carefully selected and classified.
The artichokes grown in this area vegetate under optimum conditions, reaping full benefit of the excellent local climate and soil characteristics. The coastal plains in the north of the Valencian Community offer gentle 2% slopes on average and are protected by mountains. The parent rock is carbonated, and soils are mostly slightly basic with a loamy texture.
The climate is sub-humid dry, maritime Mediterranean with mild but not hot winters and little risk of frost. Average annual rainfall is 400 mm but is irregular, making irrigation necessary.
Consejo Regulador de la DOP Alcachofa de Benicarló
C/ César Cataldo, 2
12580 Benicarló (Castellón)
Tel: (+34) 964 461 674
The artichokes are picked, using a sharp knife and including up to 10 cm of the stem.
Benicarló (Valencian Community)