With a promotional campaign set to start in Italy and Germany, producers near Bologna are hopeful that their product’s reputation as a culinary speciality will keep demand high

Altedo asparagus March

Altedo asparagus harvested in March 2024

Unseasonably high temperatures in the north of Italy over the past month have apparently brought forward the start of at least one major seasonal campaign.

Green asparagus grown in the region of Altedo between Bologna and Ferrara is traditionally harvested in April and May, but this year, the season is aleady underway.

According to CustomWeather, last month the area around Bologna witnessed a high of 17°C, well above an average high of 10°C recorded for 1992-2021.

Despite that earlier start, the latest Altedo asparagus crop is predicted to be “abundant and very high quality”.

And for other growers in the north of Italy who want a lower-maintenance, more climate-resistant product, they could apparently do worse than consider planting some asparagus.

That’s certainly the view of Gianni Cesari, president of the consortium that promotes and protects Altedo’s PGI-certified green asparagus.

Gianni Cesari Altedo asparagus

Gianni Cesari with some of the first new-season crop

“Asparagus is a crop that requires passion and specialisation and which represents, in my opinion, at this moment, a good solution for producers,” he comments.

“It is a natural product that does not require particular interventions and resists extreme climatic events. It is a good economic resource for local producers who can find a certain economic satisfaction in this crop.”

With the support of the Emilia Romagna Region, the consortium plans to run a communication campaign in Italy and Germany over the coming months. It will tell people about the product’s tradition and quality, and its status as a culinary ingredient that is “appreciated by gourmets all over the world”.

“Our mission is to preserve and promote the authenticity and quality of the green asparagus of Altedo, enhancing the territory from which it comes,” Cesari adds.

“We have recently celebrated twenty years of the protection consortium and we will continue the activities through a series of events in the area which will involve restaurants, chefs and citizens who want to participate.”