Carota Novella di Ispica first made their appearance in 1955, but were not cultivated and exported until 1968. The merit for this goes to the Curto farm, which also indicated the production area under the Carota Novella di Ispica name, which was later established definitively. Among the first farmers to grow “Ispica New Carrots” were the Caia brothers and the Peviani company, which had already been working in the carrot sector in the province of Syracuse, but then moved to land around Ispica to begin cultivation tests in the area, which proved particularly suitable.
The cultivation of Carota Novella di Ispica has gradually expanded since the 1950s, both for reasons related to the agricultural phenomenon of “soil fatigue” and because of the great commercial success achieved on national and international markets. This was due to its advantageous features, such as early maturing, quality of shape and organoleptic and chemical properties.
The Ispica carrot is a “new carrot” which reaches market maturity from as early as the end of February up to the beginning of June. It is thus a novel product, typically Sicilian and entirely associated with its production area.
Carota Novella di Ispica are therefore available on the market during the winter-spring period, with the organoleptic properties typical of a fresh product, such as crunchiness, an intense flavour and an herbaceous aroma.
The old producers still remember the European importers saying that they could immediately recognise a load of Carota Novella di Ispica, as soon as the truck containing them was opened, by the particularly intense fragrance that arose.
In the 1950s, farm worker migration became a major social phenomenon and agricultural labourers from the mountain areas began to come down to the provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa during the Ispica New Carrot harvest period.
Since the 1970s, the intimate connection of Ispica New Carrots with their specified production area became the subject of scientific papers, conferences and university theses.
The Carota Novella di Ispica PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) is a product obtained by the cultivation of the Daucus carota subspecies Sativus Arcangeli. The varieties used are derived from the Nantes semi-long carrot variety group and their hybrids.
Carota Novella di Ispica PGI have particular distinguishing characteristics in terms of shape, appearance, colour, size, texture, flavour and chemical composition.
An Carota Novella di Ispica PGI has a weight of between 50 and 150 grams, a cylindrical-conical shape, an herbaceous aroma, a shiny appearance and uniform colour. It has no cracks, secondary rootlets or root at the tip. Its flesh is tender, firm and crisp, and the core is not too fibrous.”
Only Carota Novella di Ispica PGI in the commercial categories Extra and I, as defined by the UN/EEC standard for the marketing and quality control of carrots, may obtain recognition.
The Local Area
The Carota Novella di Ispica PGI production area includes several municipalities in the provinces of Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania and Caltanissetta.
The areas involved in the cultivation of Carota Novella di Ispica PGI have always been characterised by their uniform climate and soil conditions: high average winter temperatures, long hours of sunlight and fairly loose medium-textured soils, with a good quantity of nutrients and good depth and coolness.
Curator — Consorzio Carota Novella di Ispica IGP