The red garlic of Nubia, with the typical reddish-purple colour of the papery tunic around its bulbs, is planted in dry, dark and clayey soils surrounded by salt marshes inside the Riserva naturale orientata saline di Trapani e Paceco (Natural Reserve of Trapani) under the protection of the WWF.
The cultivated area covers about 15 hectares between the towns of Paceco, Trapani, Erice, the area north of Marsala and Salemi. To prevent the impoverishment of the soil, the crop is rotated with the yellow melon of Pacheco, beans and wheat. Planting takes place between November and January.
The red garlic of Nubia is harvested in the months of May and June. It is partially dried in the field and is best consumed in the following twelve months. It matures quickly and has medium-sized, moderately abundant bulbs.
Harvesting takes place during the coolest hours of the day, early in the morning. On warm days, it is necessary to await nightfall because the greater moisture in the leaves makes it easier to manually braid the bulbs and form the traditional “trizza” (the flowers).
The harvest, as well as the drying and braiding phase, is performed strictly by hand.