Blanching (horticulture)

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Blanching is a technique used in vegetable growing. Young shoots of a plant are covered to exclude light to prevent photosynthesis and the production of chlorophyll, and thus remain pale in color. Different methods used include covering with soil (hilling or earthing up) or with solid materials such as board or terracotta pots, or growing the crop indoors in darkened conditions.[1][2] Blanched vegetables generally tend to have a more delicate flavor and texture compared to those that are not blanched.[citation needed]

Vegetable blanching examples[edit]

Vegetables that are usually blanched include:[3][4]

  • Cardoon
  • Celery
  • Chicory (Chicorium intybus), or common chicory, in the United States also called 'endive' (the common name for Chicorium endivia).[5] Many varieties do not need artificial blanching because the outer leaves sufficiently protect the inner ones from light, such as 'sugar loaf' types, or because both their natural colour and bitterness are appreciated, like radicchio of which the red colour depends on the duration of exposure. Cultivars that require blanching may need 'forcing' the growth by (controlled) exposure of the crown. This is the case for Belgian endive (though it is a chicory), also referred to by its names in French, chicon, and Dutch, witloof.[6][7][8][9]
  • Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)
  • Leek
  • Potato
  • Sea kale (Crambe maritima)

Vegetables that are sometimes blanched include:[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rhubarb, rhubarb". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "Yorkshire Grown Indoor Rhubarb...The History". Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b MM. Vilmorin-Andrieux; W.Robinson. 1885/undated. The vegetable garden: Illustrations, descriptions, and culture of the garden vegetables of cold and temperate climates, English Edition. Jeavons-Leler Press and Ten Speed Press. 1920 edition in Internet Archive
  4. ^ "Salad Greens". The Cook's Thesaurus. Lori Alden. 1996–2005. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "How to Grow Chicory, Belgian Endive, and Radicchio". Harvest to Table. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Chicory". The Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)[permanent dead link] (Consult the several tabs)
  7. ^ "Chicory (Cichorium intybus) perennial". Grow Your Own. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "Harvesting and Using Chicory". GardenAction. p. 2. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ Conant, Patricia (2006). "Chicory (Belgian Endive or Witloof Chicory)". The Epicurean Table. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)