Cape Town - Despite it being a difficult vegetable to grow, a Western Cape farmer is aiming to have locally produced Witlof (chicory leaf) available in SA throughout the year.
Fanie van der Merwe, managing director of Bronaar, situated near Ceres, explained that a two-step growing process is required before this vegetable (also known as Belgian Endive or Witloof) is ready to be harvested. He told Fin24 that he wants to increase local interest in the vegetable.
Witlof is related to the chicory family that includes radicchio escarole, frisee lettuce as well as the curly endive. It can be eaten cooked or raw, warm or cold. It was first introduced in Belgium in 1846. Although it was also grown in South Africa later on, the vegetable has been mostly imported.