From which vegetable family does radicchio come?


Quick Answer

Radicchio comes from the Asteracae, or daisy, family and is a kind of chicory. Chicory is an herb with blue flowers. Radicchio is a leaf-chicory, with succulent red and white leaves. Other varieties of chicory have been bred specifically for their taproots, which are mixed with coffee.

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Full Answer

Wild chicory has leaves that are toothed like dandelions and covered in rough hairs. Raddichio is a variety that, like cabbage, forms heads of leaves that are cut off early. The raw heads are then blanched, giving them strongly contrasting red and white coloration.

Radicchio is not used to make coffee, nor do the leaves contain the same chemicals that the taproot does. It has sometimes been used medicinally as a poultice or to treat stomach woes, but it is mainly the coffee chicories that have been used as herbal medications.

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