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May 16, 2013 05:34 PM

Italian "Gaduna" or "Garduna?"

So every Spring, my grandfather would take us kids to the local farm park to pick what we called "gaduna." He said it grew well in sandy soil, and it looked similar to rhubarb in its stem, with almost thistly bristles on the stem. We would take them home, where my grandmom would boil them then dredge them in eggs and flour and deep fry them. They were absolutely delicious, but I just don't know what the english term for it is… And no, its not cardoon, and although burdock is called gaduna, it looked more like rhubarb… Any ideas?

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  1. I think you are talking about "Cardo" AKA Cardone,Cardoni in Italy or Cardoon in English?

    4 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      From what the OP describes, from the look to the cooking preparation, I agree it is cardoons... but the OP says it is not. Oh well. (edited)

      1. re: ttoommyy

        Apologies from my ignorance, but what's the OP?

        1. re: constantC

          Original poster.
          No need to apologize. It's a valid question. :)

      2. re: chefj

        I think you are right chefj...Italians pronounce their c's as g's hence your thinking garduna when it is cardoni.

      3. Yes, I'm on the prowl as well. Gaduna is something else. What you described and what I remember is Garduna. I was told that it is young stalks of the burdock we're looking for, and the second growth of the plant although since I've only heard about it growing in the wild it is hard to understand how one would know the second growth from any other. Burdock is considered a pervasive weed though, thought to be entirely worthless. Makes me think of how lobsters used to be considered poor people's food ages ago on the coasts of new england.

        2 Replies
        1. re: constantC

          I know it deff isn't burdock as it was not starchy. Like a cross between thistle, celery, and rhubarb. This spring im gonna dig some up and find out what it is!!

          1. re: suburbanite889

            I know it is a Year later but,
            The Roots are starchy the Stems are not. It is the Stems that seem to be "Garduna"

        2. I recently was discussing a family tradition, cooked dandelion greens sauteed with chopped bacon and white beans, with a friend. She said her family tradition passed down from her Italian grandmother was Garduna, which is young burdock sprouts, 3" to 5" long, peeled to remove strings if developed enough to be present. Then they were dipped in beaten egg and rolled in bread crumbs and baked on an oiled cookie sheet at 325F until just tender. She said they were delicious. I can't wait to try them. Burdock is a biennial 'weed', that is it takes two years to mature. The first year a rosette of leaves reminiscent of rhubarb develop, then die back with winter. In spring of the second year, they send up shoots that develop into a tall stalk with clusters of the burrs, actually seed clusters, that drop or are carried off in the coats of cats, dogs, or humans, to drop and begin the cycle again. A friend's father cured a staph infection his mother got from a surgery with burdock root tea. I've used it by digging the first year roots in the fall, scrubbing and maybe scraping the bark, then slicing like carrots and boiling. Beige in color, the water turns dark forest green and is quite good and healthful to boot. Burdock has been used in herbal medicine for centuries for its blood tonic powers.

          1. it grew in my backyard in NJ. I thought it was brocclirobb but its not My grandmother called it Garduna. Im trying to find out where to get it and what its called too. it looks like a calladium but bigger and thicker.

            1. Omg. When I was little & we moved up to the country from NYC, my Sicilian grandfather used to walk our road, picking & cutting Gadona. My mom would cook them EXACTLY the same way your grandma did. She'd freeze them & we'd eat it all year. Today I can't find it in the store so I use celery! Great memories!!