The town of Giarratana
Local products from Giarratana
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The Onion of Giarratana
The town of Giarratana ties its name to the production of an extraordinarily sweet and very large onions, the so-called "Giarratana onion".
The features that make this vegetable a unique one are the following: shaped bulbs with crushed white tunic, white and tasty but not pungen flesh and a weight that is normally around 500 grams, but that may also exceed two kilograms.
The Onion of Giarratana is a unique vegetable, very sweet and aromatic. It is produced in most of the territory of Giarratana, where is cultivated a variety named "white", showing several relevant characteristics.
The presence of oil sulphide provides to the onion a typical taste and aroma, while fats are almost completely absent. Discrete are also the quantities of vitamins and minerals.
The Onion of Giarratana has diuretic characteristics, is a disinfectant for the intestines and contributes to take under control the blood pressure and the rate of glucose in the blood.
Originally cultivated in the Middle East, the Onion of Giarratana subsequently spread to Egypt and then across the whole Mediterranean basin.
The onion was a very common food in Egypt, then was appreciated by the Greeks, which had a market in the city reserved to the onions, and finally by the Romans too.
The cultivation of the onion in Giarratana has relatively recent origins, dating back to about fourty years ago. Originally the onion cultivation was carried on as an additional source of incomes for the existing firms dedicated to livestock production, as well as olive trees and almond trees cultivation.
The abandonment of the rural settlements caused, during the past decade, a decline of the onion production, but the climatic conditions, the excellent ground and the great selection work done by horticulturists, still allows a production of very high quality.
Today, the area devoted to the cultivation of the onion of Giarratana almost coincides with the territory of the municipality and a small part of the close district of Ragusa. The annual production reaches an average of 12,000 quintals, and it is concentrated in the months of July and August.
The onion if Giarratana is a protagonist of many recipes, like the "closed" buns, commonly called the pies, stuffed with tomatoes and onions. Its a main ingredient of side plates like grilled onions or grilled onions stuffed with spices. It's also excellent raw, in salads, or simply seasoned with some extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Due to its remarkable size it is often used as a "spoon" to contain the "cottoie" beans coming from the highlands of Modica.
To enjoy the excellent onion of Giarratana you have not to miss the festival that takes place yearly in Giarratana on August, 14 through the streets of the picturesque village, when the onion is cooked and served in various ways and accompanied by cheeses and local wines.