Vessalico is a tiny town in the Upper Arroscia Valley where centuries-old garlic is grown. Its survival is linked to the will of a few stubborn farmers who have continued to cultivate it in tiny plots. They have handed down the bulbs for generations together with their cultivation technique and the particular packaging method. The garlic cloves are in fact packed in long braids (rèste). The plants are not cut and they continue to feed the garlic and to keep it healthy up to eight to ten months after the harvest.
It has a delicate aroma, an intense and slightly spicy flavour and an extremely long shelf life.
The traditional local gastronomy includes a dish which enhances its organoleptic characteristics: it is the “ajé”, a mayonnaise with extra virgin olive oil and garlic crushed in a mortar. It is best enjoyed on toasted bread croutons or accompanied by boiled potatoes.
Every year, on 2 July, the eighteenth-century garlic fair takes place in Vessalico, an ideal opportunity to discover and buy it.