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Cardon épineux genevois AOP

Geographical Region

Production, storage, bleaching and conditioning take place exclusively within the frontiers of the canton of Geneva.

Production

The „Cardon argenté épineux de Plainpalais“ („Plainpalais Silver Thorny Cardoon“) is the only variety approved for the manufacture of Cardon épineux genevois PDO. The seeds come from mother plants which have been selected by a selection team. The selection is carried out according to specific criteria which represent the particular characteristics of this variety. Seeding and planting take place in spring. The Geneva Thorny Cardoon PDO does not demand any special or systematic plant protection measures. Because of its numerous thorns, however, cultivation, harvest and processing are challenging. In order to avoid a too high level of bitterness in the Geneva Thorny Cardoon PDO it is bleached. After bleaching, the Geneva Thorny Cardoon PDO is cleaned. Green and unpalatable leaf veins are removed. Only the heart of the plant and the shortened leaf veins without leaf blades are used.

History

The cultivation of Cardy is based on long tradition in Geneva. The Protestants who had fled in consequence of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and who established themselves in Plainpalais, were well skilled in cultivating vegetables and they grew the seeds they had brought with them of the „Plainpalais Silver Thorny Cardoon “. The Geneva vegetable farmers selected the best plants for the reproduction and improved the growth over the years. The Cardy cultivation is traditional. Since World War Two particular efforts were made to grow the famous variety „Plainpalais Silver Thorny Cardoon“, as we know it today. Among the regions in Europe which still produce Cardy, Geneva is the only one, in which thorny Cardy ist grown. Gratin Geneva Thorny Cardoon with poultry is a traditional Christmas specialty in Geneva.