Grown along the Tyrrhenian belt, in the area between the provinces of Vibo Valentia and Cosenza, the red onion of Tropea is a triumph of beneficial qualities.

A bit of history

In Calabria, it seems that the onion was introduced by the Phoenicians in the Vibonese area and, thanks to important trade routes of the time such as the port of Parghelia, spreading in that stretch of coast between the “Lametino” and “Viboneto” seas that goes from Amantea to Capo Vaticano. Later it was also much appreciated by the Greeks who, in turn, had removed it from the Assyrian and Babylonian culinary tradition. (Strabone lib.6 and Aristotile lib.7 De Repubblica).

Widely consumed during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a period in which it was considered the main product of the local food and economy, traded locally, sold and exported by sea to Tunisia, Algeria and Greece, the red onion of Tropea has already been around since era recognized as rich in beneficial qualities that make it precious for our health

This product will spread with greater intensity in the Bourbon period, when it will be introduced and requested by the markets of northern Europe, becoming well appreciated. Fiore in Studies on Calabria also talks about the shape of the bulb and the long reds of Calabria.
The first and organized statistical surveys on onion cultivation in Calabria are reported in the Reda Agricultural Encyclopedia (1936 – 39).

With the intensification of trade in the mid-1950s, it was also known and appreciated in overseas markets.

Very sweet, crunchy and red, these are the characteristics that make the “Red Onion of Tropea Calabria”, defined for its qualities “Red Gold of Calabria”, so desired and palatable.

Ambassador of Calabria in the world

Its properties such as unique sweetness, inimitable crunchiness and versatility make the Tropea red onion, which obtained the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) certification in 2008, an ambassador product of the land of Calabria in the world.

Grown along the Tyrrhenian belt, in the area between the provinces of Vibo Valentia and Cosenza, in the municipalities of Nicotera, Campora San Giovanni, Amantea, Briatico, Capo Vaticano and Ricadi, it boasts a thousand-year history.

Known since ancient times for its beneficial, anti-inflammatory and low-calorie properties (it contains only 20 calories per 100 grams), it acts as a natural sedative useful for reconciling sleep, prevents the formation of blood clots and clots, has antibiotic, expectorant, purifying properties, blood thinners, vermifuge and anticancer (in particular in cases of cancer of the liver, colon, larynx and ovaries), thanks to allyl sulphide, often used in the fight against some common diseases such as colds, flu and pharyngitis.

The red onion of Tropea, certainly among the most interesting products of the entire Italian agricultural panorama, is extremely versatile: it is used as a base for sautéed sauces, combined, for example, with pizza with tuna and olives, processed in the characteristic onion jam . But it is raw with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil that it is advisable to consume to fully benefit from its nutritional properties.

Precious treasure of the earth

Grown in various areas of Calabria, it is rich in iron, mineral salts and vitamins, and has numerous beneficial virtues for the health and well-being of the body. First of all, it is an ally of the heart: it helps in the prevention of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, it has antibiotic and antioxidant properties, fights free radicals and contains natural organic compounds that contribute to lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

That’s not all: it is indicated against skin diseases, tones veins and arteries, exerts a positive action on diuresis, hypertension and in the case of intestinal infections, prevents kidney stones and whooping cough, gives relief in case of cold or influenza, and is an antihemorrhagic. According to some research, it would also reduce the risk of cancer of the larynx, liver, colon and ovaries. Finally, it would be useful for those suffering from diabetes by helping to reduce blood sugars.

Unmistakable for color and flavor, in the kitchen it is an extremely versatile ingredient: it can be eaten cooked or raw, both as a flavoring, as a food to eat alone or as a side dish. To clean it, simply remove the external paper-like part and cut the ends. Ideal for sautéed, pickled or to enrich mixed salads, it can be used to accompany first and second courses or cheeses. Alternatively, it can be used for excellent jams, savory pies or delicious omelettes

When buying, it is recommended to choose the one with a compact shape, firm and without bruises or buds. It can be stored at room temperature, in a cool and dry place, for 2-3 weeks, until sprouting phenomena occurre.