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Traditional Crop of the Month

All over the world local varieties of fruit, vegetables and grain are grown. Many are seemingly forgotten or are underutilized despite having outstanding nutritional or taste qualities. Some have good commercial potential and could be an excellent cash crop for a smallscale or family farmer, aimed at the local, regional or international market.

Introducing this month’s hidden wonder

The cardoon is a crop of regional importance in Spain, Italy and the south of France, where it is used in traditional dishes. The stalks can be eaten baked, boiled, fried or braised. The flowers are used as a rennet substitute in cheese-making.

In 2013, the International Year of Quinoa, an Andean super grain, brought the world’s attention to a little-known traditional crop. The response was overwhelming and now quinoa is enjoyed far beyond the mountains of South America.

Encouraged by this success, FAO will run a Traditional Crop of the Month feature to bring other fine foodstuffs to the attention of the world. Enjoy the tour!


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