Polignano a mare it is one of the wonders of the Apulian Adriatic coast, just south of Bari. An extremely suggestive place, rich in colors, shapes and scents.
Among the countless reasons for a visit there is certainly good food, especially when it is based on the wonderful local products, one above all the carrot of Polignano, Slow Food presidium. But why is this carrot so prized?
The colorful carrot
The first thing that catches the eye when you are in front of a nice basket of Polignano carrots is there variety of colors.
These colored carrots are orange, but also of various shades of yellow and purple. By cutting them and observing their cross section, we notice that inside the color becomes more tenuous and nuanced.
Why are Polignano carrots not only orange like all the others? Because their seed is selected by farmers and therefore does not always have the color stabilized by seed companies.
In fact, every year farmers choose the best plants and they plant them in small separate plots, and then select the seeds of the most prosperous ones, regardless of color. Then they replant them from August 15th to September 15th, obtaining a product rich in nuances.
Why eat the Polignano carrot?
There are many reasons to taste Polignano carrots.
Il flavor it is particularly fresh and characterized by one flavor higher than that of commercial carrots.
With regard to nutritional characteristics, the Polignano carrot boasts a content of carotenes up to three and a half times higher than that of common varieties.
Furthermore, purple carrots have a good content of anthocyanins, powerful natural antioxidants in which all red and purple vegetables and fruits are rich.
Il sugar content (glucose, fructose and sucrose) finally is remarkably lower than that of the common carrot (in average the difference is approximately 22%).
Consequently, the Polignano carrot is also less caloric. Despite this characteristic, his sweetness index (ie the perception of sweet taste on the palate) is comparable with that of other carrots. Proof of this is the fact that it is often also used in the preparation of jams.
Another reason for choosing the Polignano carrot is represented by the cultivation and harvesting techniques, which still follow sustainable methods, to safeguarding biodiversity.
Read also 4 vegetable jams >>
Harvest and cultivation of the Polignano carrot
The Polignano carrot harvest takes place to climb, i.e. gradually over time, from late November to late spring. In this way you can have the fresh product for several months of the year.
The product is grown exclusively in a rather small area, between 10 and 20 hectares, near Polignano a mare, mainly in the hamlet of San Vito.
Precisely because of its close link with the tradition of the territory, this food has been named Slow Food presidium.
Read also Organic farming in the town >>
Photo: Harald Biebel