Ladispoli Artichoke Festival

Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco, Ladispoli

This town boasts the largest artichoke celebration in Italy but I’m here to dispute that claim on the basis of irrelevance. I was thinking that just like an artichoke, 80% of it (the festival) is made up of stuff you can do without and you have to work hard to get to the end (of the street) till you get to the heart where the true prize is.

Ladispoli is a seaside town about 45 minutes by train from Rome. One of those towns that definitely looks better at night and certainly takes on a much more appealing atmosphere once the sun has set.

There certainly was a festive atmosphere about and I can’t deny that the thousands of people who were thronging the main streets were adequately entertained, fed and had ample opportunity to consume.

At the end of the main street were a number of pro loco representing various Italian regions. Only 3 of about 20 tents served artichokes in some form. I took photos while the light was still good and then lined up to be served a portion of the tons of fried artichokes on offer.
The artichoke that grows around Rome and Ladispoli is unsurprisingly called the Romanesco. The first, most prized chokes on the plant are known as Cimaroli. These usually command a slightly higher price as there a fewer of these and they are very tender. Sometimes you may here or see the Romanesco being referred to by their more common name of Mammole.

The favourite way to serve the local artichoke is to simply batter in flour and egg and deep fry in a blended seed oil.

Here’s the Method

Grab your artichokes

Cut them into quarters and place in lemon water

Remove small batches from the lemon water

Place them in a large bowl with flour

And coat them completely in flour. Shake off any excess.

DIp it into the batter of egg, diluted with a little water.

Fry in a large pot of very hot blended seed oil. Stir occasionally

Remove and strain when they are golden brown.

Serve them with a sprinkle of salt

The Artichoke Blog

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3 Responses to “Ladispoli Artichoke Festival”

  1. […] • California has its artichoke pride on display with the Giant Artichoke of Castroville, and even has a restaurant adjacent that makes a host of fine artichoke dishes. And if you’re touring around at the end of May, stick around for the artichoke festival, during which, in 1947, Marilyn Monroe was crowned Artichoke Queen. (The festival is rivaled only by its Italian counterpart). […]

  2. mikey says:

    Before you come to Italy in Spring have a look at this blog and check out the better artichoke festival to go to. personally I’d give this one (Ladispoli) a miss and head to Sezze. it’s usually the same weekend and in the greater Rome area. My next post will be about Sezze and I’ve been to 3 others since so stay tuned. cheers

  3. Akila says:

    I am so happy I found your site. Artichokes are my favorite and I was very inspired by the wonderful artichoke recipes I found last time I was in Italy. Next spring, I will be back and I can’t wait to go to this festival. Wonderful!

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