Slice the roots open to reveal concentric rings of pink and white, and this fun variety adds pop to salads and pizazz to pickles. Chioggia beet originated in the historic fishing town of Chioggia, Italy, just across the lagoon from Venice. Dubbed “Little Venice” for its canals and ancient charm, local Venetians know that Chioggia is the town to visit for authentic family-style food. It also has a reputation among Italians for retaining food traditions and quality cuisine. Chioggia beet was first mentioned by legendary French seedhouse Vilmorin in 1840. When introduced in the U.S., Chioggia beet was considered a gourmet oddity, primarily sold at upscale markets. The unusual rings were a startling departure from the typical red beet, and so the variety was not immediately embraced by the public. Today the Chioggia beet remains a popular choice for market farmers; the roots are alluring and have the culinary stamp of approval from top chefs the world over. The candy-cane striped roots have a crisp crunch when eaten raw in salads. Those who are averse to that signature earthy beet flavor will appreciate this variety, as the flavor is remarkably mellow. The greens are crisp and high quality. The flesh is very tender, mild, and sweet.
Days to germinate: 14-21
Days to maturity: 60
Start indoors: Not recommended.
Sow outdoors 3-4 weeks before last frost of spring, or in late summer for a fall crop.
Seed spacing: 1-2” apart, then thin seedlings to 3-5” apart. Use thinnings for salad
Seed depth: ½”
Produce size: Best when harvested at 2-3” in diameter
Yield: 1 root per plant
Mature plant height: 10-12”
Suitable for container growing: Yes
Year of discovery: Approximately 1830; named after an Italian fishing village
Mar 8, 2021