Aglio di Voghiera DOP

Aglio di Voghiera DOP

History

In the middle of an area considered crucial for the governing of the Po Delta since Roman times, Voghiera and the surrounding areas owe their agricultural fortune to their location and to the properties of the soil. There is evidence that vast fields of cereals, such as spelt, were grown in these lands in Roman times but there is also evidence of extensive cultivation of tree-planted vines, then called Arbustum Gallicum.

It was the Este family, lords of Ferrara, who revived the region of Voghiera and its surrounding areas. In 1435, Marquis Niccolò III decided to build the BELRIGUARDO Castle in Voghiera, one of the ’delights’ of the Dukes of Ferrara outside the city walls. The castle, which now houses the Civic Museum of Voghiera, became the summer palace of the court: it is a complex of over three hundred rooms, many of which were frescoed by the great masters of the Ferrarese Workshop.

The first evidence of garlic cultivation in Voghiera dates back to the time of the Este dukedom. The ducal state encouraged as much cultivation as possible in the surrounding lands and the records also speak of intense and special cultivations in the numerous greenhouses that had to supply produce all year round. Particular attention was paid to aromatic herbs, garden produce and garlic.

The return of the papal administration at the end of the 16th century did not interrupt the agricultural traditions of Voghiera and its surroundings. The careful cultivation and storage of garlic has been handed down over the centuries.

The soil of the Po Valley and its river sands, together with the particular climatic conditions of the area, create an ecosystem that favours the balance of product quality and aroma.

In 2010, Aglio di Voghiera was awarded the European DOP (Protected Designation of Origin or PDO) designation. The trademark is printed on each package, together with the name of the producer, to guarantee that production and processing take place exclusively within the defined geographical area.

Production area

The area designated for the cultivation of Aglio di Voghiera DOP lies within the province of Ferrara and is perfectly defined, comprising the municipality of Voghiera and part of the municipalities of Masi Torello, Portomaggiore, Argenta and Ferrara.
Every year, an average of 10,000 kilogrammes per hectare of dried garlic are harvested.
Production is limited to small quantities: the land on which the valuable bulb is grown is rotated every five years (i.e. garlic is planted on the same land once every five years) to guarantee optimum product quality.

Cultivation

Garlic is a bulbous plant that is carefully cultivated in an annual cycle, with a five-year rotation of the planted land.

  • Summer

    Preparation begins with ploughing (depths ranging between 40 and 50 cm.), followed by cultivating and fertilisation.

  • Autumn

    Between 15 September and 30 November, the seeds for planting are selected by hand from the best Aglio di Voghiera DOP bulbs from the previous crop. From these, new plants will sprout. The minimum depth of the bulbs must be 6 cm and the distance between the rows must be sufficient to prevent the roots from being heaved out during the winter, while at the same time allowing mechanical weeding.

  • Winter and spring

    The cultivated land is managed through some important processes: hoeing and irrigation. The distribution of irrigation water must be uniform, ensuring no water is left to stagnate, and must cease 15 days before harvesting.

  • Summer

    Harvesting takes place between 10 June and 31 July when the bulbs reach maturity. The grubbing-up is carried out without machinery. The bulbs and stems are then dried and packaged by hand according to tradition.

Caracteristics

The taste characteristics of Aglio di Voghiera DOP are unmistakable:

Appearance

Large and shaped like a crown with a varying number of cloves wrapped in thin white jackets and sometimes streaked with pink.

Aroma

The characteristic aroma that is released when garlic is crushed and cut is due to the presence of allicin, a powerful bactericide.

Flavour

The mild flavour and sweet and delicate taste are the synthesis of enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids and minerals.

Benefits

Garlic is a much healthier food than you might imagine, and a great ally for our bodies.

Raw garlic has natural antiseptic and purifying properties, thanks to allicin, which acts against thousands of viruses and bacteria.

Garlic has a wide range of benefits: it is an antioxidant, it strengthens our immune systems and it improves our cardiovascular functions. It is great for fighting anaemia, controlling obesity, and purifying the liver. It is very effective against gastrointestinal disorders, vomiting and diarrhoea, and very useful for insect bites and mycosis, as it can work as a disinfectant.

Please note, however, that many qualities are lost when the garlic is cooked for too long or at an excessively high temperature.

On the table

Dried naturally, Aglio di Voghiera DOP can be purchased dry, in packages of different compositions and quantities.

Dried Aglio di Voghiera DOP should ideally be kept in a dry and well-ventilated place. You can also freeze the cloves without losing their taste properties.

Aglio di Voghiera DOP is great for cooking: it is an ideal condiment for adding character and fragrance to both traditional and innovative dishes.

Whole cloves can be used with or without their skins, while chopping garlic with a knife or crushing it in a mortar will make the most of its aroma.

Video tutorial

The videos were made by the consortium producers Aglio di Voghiera DOP