The tomato is one of the symbols of Italian cuisine. It's one of the most popular vegetables in herb gardens throughout Italy, so much so that it's the basis of many recipes of Italian culinary tradition: from the famous pasta with tomato to the equally acclaimed pizza.
Tomato is one of the main vegetables of the Italian culinary tradition. There are many tomato-based recipes: they are handed down from generation to generation without interruption. Our childhood memories often linked to the tomato as a protagonist on our tables. So I will try to tell you how the most famous fruit (or vegetable if you prefer) in our history was born and how it has evolved over the years, especially in Campania.
The origins of tomato
Everyone thinks that tomatoes have always been an Italian product; they have South American origin and only arrived in the old continent at the turn of the sixteenth century. The landing took place in Spain in 1540; initially, it was not used in cuisine but only for decoration. Nobles from all over Europe used to be painted with exotic fruits. The name “tomato” derives from the Aztec name “xitomatl”.
The tomato arrived in Italy thanks to the relations with the various Italian duchies and the Bourbon empire. Unlike other European countries, our mild weather has favoured the development of this vegetable, so much so that it quickly reaches our cuisine. Most of the culinary experiments were done in southern Italy.
The evolution of the tomato along our peninsula is linked to many small stories and traditions that have given birth to different and famous varieties of tomatoes: from the "occhio di bue" (ox-eye) to Pachino IGP cherry tomatoes.
The queen of tomatoes in Italy is undoubtedly Campania, from recipes to the most delicious types.
Campania and tomatoes: the symbol of this area
Tomatoes are one of the typical products of Campania. Here different species of tomatoes are grown including: San Marzano Dop tomato, tomato from Piennolo del Vesuvio, tomato from Sorrento and that from the Stabia hill of Quisisana.
San Marzano: the most famous tomato from Campania
The San Marzano tomato is known all over the world and is one of the leading exponents of Campania cuisine and the Mediterranean diet. The San Marzano tomato is red with compact and fleshy pulp. It has a shape similar to a cylinder which tends to widen towards the tip.
This tomato is particularly suitable for peeling, perfect for uses in the processing industry. It is fit for any application and is the most used for industrial peeling and countless recipes.
In 1996 it became a DOP product that preserved its existence, put to the test in the 1980s. The cultivation takes place in flat and soft soils, often of volcanic nature and are widespread in the province of Naples, Avellino and in particular in the Salerno countryside from where it originated.
The piennolo of Vesuvius: the real
The Piennolo del Vesuvio Dop tomato is also one of the typical and ancient products of Campania. Its unique feature lies in the method of conservation and its conformation. It is stored with a traditional technique in which the tomatoes are tied in large clusters and hung until spring arrives to ripen. This phase gives the tomato its bright red colour and its deliciously sweet and sour flavour.
The Piennolo tomato is grown on the slopes of Vesuvius or generally on soils of highly volcanic origin such as the area of Somma Vesuviana. An environmental curiosity is that no irrigation water or fertilizers are used for the Piennolo tomato cultivation.
Quisisana tomato: POMODAMA, the real treasure of the Stabia royal palace
On the slopes of the Quisisana hill, within the system of the Lattari Mountains that prelude the beauty of the Sorrento coast, there is a small area that contains a unique treasure of its kind: the Quisisana royal palace.
It has always been the destination of all the kings of Naples. Charles I of Anjou built it in a place with healthy air and beneficial effects, that have ended up giving the name to the whole area. In this natural stage, the Quisisana tomato,
the pomodama, is born, grown in the lands of the homonymous royal palace with the same traditional techniques, handed down from generation to generation. This centennial tradition is represented by the D'Auria family, who has been working in these lands since 1800, offering a product of excellence in Campania. In 2015, the tradition came back into vogue with the foundation of the DAMA
farm, which transformed a traditional and familiar product into a real farm, where ancient knowledge and centuries-old methods give uniqueness to the product.
The pomodama has the purest flavours of the past and is divided into two types: the light bulb and the pendulum. The light bulb is one of the oldest species. It has a bright red colour and takes its name from its elongated and slightly enlarged shape in the centre. The pendulum, on the other hand, has a rounded shape with a point at the end. If you want to buy something special, the "pomodama" is a good idea as the other products of the farm.
CATALOGO PRODOTTI POMODAMA❯
The tomato is widespread throughout the Italian peninsula and is not limited to the famous Campania cases. The goodness of tomato can be found in Salento, Sicily, Piedmont, Tuscany and many other Italian regions, each with its peculiarities and flavours.
Don't wait any longer! Come and try the flavours and goodness of Italian tomatoes.
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