The onion is the typical product of Cannara, recognized as a Traditional Food Product (P.A.T.) from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
There are various types of this bulbous plant, from the several therapeutic properties, cultivated in Cannara since the sixteenth century, as documented by the Cannara's Municipal Statute, although some scholars say before, 1300: Rossa di Toscana o di Firenze (from the bulb round and red copper); Dorata di Parma (from the bulb shaped like a spinning top and pale yellow); Rossa di Tropea (from the bulb extended and cardinal red); Borettana o piatta di Rovato (flattened from the bulb and amber); some local varieties with seeds self-produced.
Cannara onions are planted in open field in March, while weeding is done in April and is repeated several times. Because of the peculiarities of this product, plant disease control is carried out using copper-based products. Watering is abundant and frequent. The onions are harvested in July and August and dried in the fields. After this they are cleaned and selected according to type and size. The bulbs are “interwoven” together, ready to be sold.
The producers, locally known as cipollari (onion sellers), are mostly organized in family business, passing down their cultivation techniques by word of mouth, from father to son, in some cases for over four generations.