The DOP Voghiera Garlic is renowned for its sweet taste, not pungent, with a fresh aftertaste. It is the synthesis of natural enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and minerals salts, which together create an incomparable aromatic and genetic soul. Just the uniqueness of its flavour has allowed this product from the province of Ferrara to obtain the Protected Designation of Origin. Its bright white colour and its large bulb are the first aspects the consumer notes, in addition to its perfectly rounded shape, consisting of bulbils united in a precise manner. In addition to its very white colour, its pleasant taste, and compact form, it owes its success to its ability to keep for a long time without deteriorating. In order to preserve its delicacy, its cloves can be left either whole or ‘poached’, or with their peel. Its intense aroma emanates better by crushing it in a mortar or chopping it with a knife.
The land of Garlic
The Voghiera Garlic is a symbol of the centuries-old agricultural and culinary tradition of Romagna. It has been cultivated since the Middle Ages in the fertile Po Valley in Ferrara, an ecosystem characterized by specific climatic conditions, always suitable for the production of garlic. Ever since the time of the Este family, the rulers of Ferrara from the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth century, the area of the ancient Voghenza, today Voghiera, had been used for growing vegetable plants, herbs, and in particular garlic. After the end of the Este’s domination, peasants and landowners of these campaigns, once located along the Po River, continued the cultivation of garlic, which has been maintained to the present day. The characteristics of this production are related to the component in clay of these soils, which promotes the drainage of underground water, as well as the climate of this area. This production is limited to the territory of the municipalities of Voghiera, Masi Torello, Portomaggiore, Argenta, and Ferrara only.
The numbers of garlic
There are 36 companies which produce this valuable product, reaching every year nearly 10,000 tons of DOP Voghiera Garlic, with a turnover of around one million Euros. This is a niche production, but it is widely followed. 90% of this production is absorbed by local and national market. The remaining part goes mainly to Germany and England, where it is required by prestigious restaurants. The producers association is very active in the promotion of this product, especially in the summer, by taking advantage of many foreign tourists’ presence, on the Adriatic Sea and along the Po River Delta, just 40 km from the town.
For the use in cooking, especially with pasta and fish, the Voghiera Garlic is also marketed preserved in oil. It is also sold in cream, where its flavour and aroma are intense and pleasant, suitable with cooked vegetables, potatoes, or meat. For some years, it has also been sold with the addition of spicy horseradish, a very aromatic and at the same time sweet pairing, especially excellent on boiled meat.