Italian chicory is a wild plant with pretty blue flowers producing leaves with a bitter taste used in salads. For those who like a bitter coffee, chicory root may be used as an additive. In times of hardship it has even been used as a substitute. Cultivated versions include radicchio, forced white chicons of chicory and endives. The bitterness can be slightly ameliorated by the use of lemon juice. The names of chicories are often confused and you may find that these are the leaves of the closely related Italian dandelion, with yellow flowers.