Courtesy Frieda's, Inc.A Ralphs Grocery Co. outlet in the Los Angeles area displays three new artichoke varieties from Baroda Farms and distributor Frieda's, Inc. Frieda’s, Inc., introduced three artichoke varieties from Baroda Farms with a two-week retail and foodservice promotion in Southern California.
The sangria, fiore viola and fiesole artichokes developed by Lompoc, Calif.-based Baroda Farms were rolled out at Ralphs Grocery Co. and Maria’s Italian Kitchen restaurants April 25 to May 6.
Ralphs stores near the company’s Los Angeles headquarters created displays for the new varieties with signage from Los Alamitos, Calif.-based distributor Frieda’s, touting the product as locally grown. Ralphs is a division of The Kroger Co.
Since the promotion, dubbed the Locally Grown Artichoke Festival, supplies have tapered off and won’t peak again before August, said Alex Jackson, communications coordinator for Frieda’s.
“We have some now, but not enough to guarantee a full supply of all three varieties until August,” Jackson said May 29.
Maria’s Italian Kitchen served five artichoke dishes to diners using the three varieties, including its stuffed artichoke offering.
The sangria is a dark red artichoke with a nutty flavor and meaty leaves, Jackson said. Fiore viola is a dark purple with a round shape and sweet flavor.
Frieda’s is marketing the third variety as low-maintenance.
“The baby purple fiesole have none of the fuzzy stuff inside to remove before eating the artichoke heart,” Jackson said. “You just take off the outer leaves and trim the tip.”
Baroda Farms grower Steve Jordan developed the artichokes.
“My brother and I are partners with the Italian government in developing new red artichoke varieties,” he said in a news release. “These three new varieties are the outcome of collaboration with French and Italian breeders.”
“We are excited to bring these exclusive new artichokes to the Southern California market, and partnering with Ralphs and Maria’s Italian Kitchen was ideal,” Karen Caplan, Frieda’s president, said in the release.