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witlof
 
The Hydroponically Grown Health Food Vegetable


What is Witlof?

Witlof, or Witloof, means "white leaf", for the reason of its appearance. It is a vegetable related to the 'endive', and was discovered quite by chance in the mid 1800's in Belgium. The story goes: the head of the Botanical Gardens in Brussels happened to store some chicory roots in a dark cellar and then sometime later discovered that they had produced fragrant white leaves. In 1872 some of this witlof was sent to Paris and in 1873 appeared in an exhibition. The first sales of Witlof were held in 1913, but it was not until 1930 that this new vegetable gained in popularity, reaching the height of its popularity in the years after 1945.



witlof


What is Red Witlof?

This is a contradiction, really, as "Witlof" is Dutch (or Flemish) for "White-Leaf". Therefore, this newly developed vegetable can hardly be called "Red White-Leaf"! For this reason the name "Redlof" is a more suitable name.

Redlof is a member of the Chicorium Genus, along with Witlof, Chicory and Endive. Redlof, however, has more than likely been cross-bred with "Raddichio", also of the same genetic background. For years now, the Dutch and French Specialist have been busy trying to breed the red pigment into the outer edge of this "lof", or leaf vegetable. They have been endeavouring to find an alternative to just the one choice of Witlof, the white-buttery-yellow variety, which has become so very popular and well known in the greater parts of Europe.

It has however, been a difficult task (as can be testified by commercial growers) as their early attempts produced redlof which tended to revert back to its original white/yellow colouring. The new variety also had some difficulty in setting a firm, tightly formed head or spear, which is what makes Witlof so popular with chefs and food lovers internationally.












 

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