This week we are offering several varieties of chicories from J. Marchini Farms, located in Le Grand, Ca. (Merced County). Chicories are a closely related group of leafy vegetables that exhibit a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures and all have in common a particular flavor best described as wild bitterness ranging from mild to strong depending on the individual variety. The most commonly recognized member of the group is Radicchio di Chioggia-closed and rounded like a cabbage, bright purple in color with white veins with the bitter flavor somewhat pronounced. Other varieties include Belgian Endive, Escarole, Frisee and the lesser known varieties that we offer this week including Dino Kale, Radicchio de Treviso, Castelfranco and Puntarelle. Though several are available year round, they were originally cool weather crops that peak seasonally in early winter. The varieties are offered individually as well as combined for a Mixed Chicory, which might be the best way to become familiar with all of them.