Known in its native country as Witloof Chicory (translated means white leaf), Belgians eat about 20 pounds per person of Belgian endive.

Whether it is the stuff of legend or fact, the story is that Jan Lammers in 1830 was storing chicory roots in his cellar to dry as a substitute for coffee beans when the roots sprouted and formed leaves in his dark shed.

Jan discovered the white vegetable to be tangy and flavorful and the cultivation of Belgium endive was born. It is high in fiber, iron, potassium and vitamins A and K with practically zero calories or carbohydrates and takes two seasons to grow a “bud” of Belgian endive. About 100 pounds of roots provide 25 pounds of endive. In autumn, the roots are dug up, packed and stored at almost freezing temperatures. The roots are slowly warmed which fools the roots into thinking it is spring. This is carried out in near darkness and keeps the leaves white.

How To Grow Chicory/Endive At Home (Indoors)