This variety of onion, a variety referable to the Allium cepa L. species, with a white colour and a characteristic flattened shape in the centre of the bulb, has been cultivated for some time in the municipality of Nepi. In the past, a large part of the town’s economy revolved around the cultivation of this vegetable, so much that, throughout the upper Lazio, the inhabitants of Nepi were known as “cipollari” (onion growers). In this territory, fertile and rich in mineral waters, onion cultivation must have been introduced by the Romans at the time of the conquest of the Etruscan territories. Since then, the Nepi inhabitants became expert growers of this well-known and sought-after vegetable in Roman markets. Until the late 1950s, the fame of the onion must have been undisputed if, in 1976, there were 220 vegetable gardens and over 1200 producers in Nepi.
In recent years, however, the cultivation of this vegetable risked to disappear completely from the territory because of hybridisation with other local varieties. To protect this excellent vegetable, some farmers, holders of the seed for generations, have resumed cultivating it in their gardens (at present, there are 20), being very careful to reproduce it in isolated land to avoid contamination with other varieties and to promote its consumption. Delicate and particularly digestible, it is one of the vegetables always used in the local cuisine. The inhabitants usually consume it raw, in soups or as the protagonist of traditional recipes such as acquacotta or barley with Nepi onions and chestnuts from the Cimini Mountains.
The Nepi onion has a white colour of medium intensity with green veins. When cut, it has the characteristic multiple layers structure of a uniform white colour. The high olfactory intensity is characterised by notes of vegetables. The taste is harmoniously sweet, with a slight salty, sour and bitter note. High pungency and good aromatic persistence.