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.
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”.
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
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.
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