Blanching (horticulture)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
White and green asparagus.

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,[3][4] but blanching can also cause the vegetables to be lower in vitamin A.[5]


Vegetables that are usually blanched include:[6][7]

  • Cardoon
  • Celery
  • Chicory (Chicorium intybus), or common chicory, in the United States also called 'endive' (the common name for Chicorium endivia).[8] 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 not a botanical endive, but a chicory), also referred to by its names in French, chicon, and Dutch, witlof.[9][10][11][12]
  • Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)
  • Leek
  • Potato
  • Sea kale (Crambe maritima)

Vegetables that are sometimes blanched include:[6]

See also[edit]

  • Etiolation – the botanical term for plants growing in insufficient light


  1. ^ "Rhubarb, rhubarb". [BBC]. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Yorkshire Grown Indoor Rhubarb...The History". Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  3. ^ United States. Dept. of Agriculture (1984). Farmer's Bulletin. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 7. Retrieved 23 March 2019 – via GoogleBooks. Exposure to sunlight discolors the cauliflower curd and can produce off-flavors.
  4. ^ a b Bubel, Mike; Bubel, Nancy (1991). Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables. Storey Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 160342220X. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  5. ^ Wyman, Donald (1986). Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia. Simon and Schuster. p. 202. ISBN 0026320703. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ "Salad Greens". The Cook's Thesaurus. Lori Alden. 1996–2005. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  8. ^ "How to Grow Chicory, Belgian Endive, and Radicchio". [Harvest to Table]. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Chicory". The Royal Horticultural Society. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2011. (Consult the several tabs)
  10. ^ "Chicory (Cichorium intybus) perennial". Grow Your Own. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Harvesting and Using Chicory". [GardenAction]. p. 2. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  12. ^ Conant, Patricia (2006). "Chicory (Belgian Endive or Witloof Chicory)". [The Epicurean Table]. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.