Alcachofa de Tudela
Alcachofa de Tudela is a Spanish IGP artichoke.
The geographical indication will protect artichoke flowers or heads. of the cultivar Blanca de Tudela grown from Cynara scolymus L, marketed fresh or preserved.
Artichokes marketed fresh will be of Extra Class or Class I, as described in Annex II to Commission Regulation (EC) No 963/98 of 7 May 1998 which lays down marketing standards for fresh artichokes. The artichokes may be presented with the stalk (with a stem 18 cm long and one or two whole leaves) and sold in the traditional way in bunches of 12 without stalks (with a stem only 10 cm long) and sold by weight.
Preserved artichokes, marketed in the form of whole or halved hearts, are produced without acidification, the finished product having a pH value of not less than 5.0.
The production zone comprises 33 areas in the south and south-west of Navarre, 32 of which are in agricultural district V (Ribera) and one in agricultural district IV (Navarra Media). Preservation may be carried out anywhere in Navarre, although 95 % of the processing industry is located in the production zone itself.
Proof of origin:
Ribera has traditionally produced vegetables, whose quality and special characteristics have made them justly renowned and appreciated throughout the northern half of Spain.
The artichoke, which has been grown on the irrigated land of Tudela since medieval times, is highly prized throughout Ribera and, along with white asparagus, is Navarre's best-known vegetable product.
The zone's farmers, through a continous process of selective growing since the beginning of the century, have produced a registered cultivar, the Blanca de Tudela, that is the basis for production in most of Spain.
Method of production:
By annual crop it is meant that the plant is pulled after one year in the ground, from August of one year to July of the following year. The crop is biennial when it is pulled two years after planting.
Planting is carried out using the cultivar Blanca de Tudela obtained from a nursery entered in the Official Register of Seed and Plant Producers, Traders and Importers. The crop must always be irrigated. Harvesting is by hand and on a continuous basis, selecting the heads ready for consumption.
Preserving is carried out without the use of acidifiers, the product being sterilised by heat. The pH value of the preserved product is similar to that of the fresh artichoke and is never less than 5.0.
The look and, above all, the organoleptic qualities of the preserved product are remarkably close to those of the fresh product in its traditional culinary preparation.
Artichokes are grown in the alluvial plains and particularly on the lower terraces of the Rivers Ebro, Ega and Aragón and its tributary the Arga, the most suitable soils being of medium texture, without stones, rich in lime, cool and well drained.
A great effort is put into irrigation as a means of overcoming the natural shortage of rainfall in the zone and of managing the crop, rather than with the aim of obtaining high yields.
The zone's climate, with cold winters and mild springs, allows for much slower production than in zones producing earlier crops, allowing for a production system that gives a better quality product.
Artichokes, production of which began in Navarre under the Arab occupation, has for centuries been one of the main irrigated crops in Tudela and is one of the characteristic ingredients of menestra, a typical stew that is highly appreciated during the spring months and perhaps the leading representative of Ribera de Navarre cuisine.
Reference: The European Commission