Perinaldo is a small village that closes the Crosia valley, at the Western end of Liguria. Little is known of the production of this excellent artichoke, imported two centuries ago from nearby Provence: it is the French “violet” artichoke. The Perinaldo artichoke, which is grown only here and in Provence, between 400 and 600 metres above sea level, is thornless, tender and has no furry choke inside. It is resistant to cold temperatures, withstands drought well and does not need chemical treatments, almost like a wild vegetable. The people of Perinaldo are very jealous of this rarity and perhaps it is for this reason, and not only because of the exposure, the characteristics of the soil and the local microclimate, that the Perinaldo violet artichoke is grown only in this small centre and not in the neighbouring villages. It is eaten raw, in salads or cooked as an accompaniment to meats or game. Traditional recipes give it the leading role in omelettes or simple fritters with garlic and parsley.
Perinaldo artichokes are harvested between May and June, but preserved in oil they can be consumed throughout the year.