There are many local products to try while enjoying your Tuscan holiday. Wine, olive oil, cheese…but if you are looking for something that cannot be found elsewhere look no further: it is the DOP Red Onion from Certaldo.
The cultivation of the red onion in Certaldo dates back to the first records of settlement in this area. The main character of one of Decameron’s novellas is called Frate Cipolla – Friar Onion – for a reason: it is probably homage of the medieval writer and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio to his hometown, where his native house has been turned into a library-museum located in Certaldo Alto, the medieval part of the town.
It is also no coincidence that the crest of Certaldo has an image of this plant on one of its two sides.
Certaldo onion has two different times of harvesting and production: between May and August the fresher variety, called statina is picked. The shape is round, the colour is fair and the taste is delicate. Between August and September is the turn of the vernina variety: the shape is slightly flattened oval, the colour is an intense burgundy and the taste is far stronger.
The red onion of Certaldo is part of the Slow Food organization and boasts its own Sagra – food festival – which takes place in Certaldo in late August until the early days of September.
Visiting Certaldo is not only a stroll along the medieval village and buildings, but also popping in one of the local restaurants and taste a local, onion-based dish. The most famous is the onion soup, a steaming hot dish made up of bread, vegetables and onion which is amongst the milestones of Tuscan cuisine.
The local marmellata di cipolle – onion jam – is to be tasted while here. It is a bitter-sweet jam which pairs perfectly with cheese, boiled meats and pork. Noteworthy is also the onion-flavoured salami, produced by the local company Gelli Salumi.
Let us suggest you…
Hotel Certaldo Staff will be delighted to show our guests where to taste and to purchase this and other local products.