Italian tomatoes: a travel through the excellences
It is simple to say Tomato, but in Italy it isn’t sufficient! Italy doesn’t produce scarce quantities of this delicious vegetable that become the symbol of the country and its Mediterranean diet. Each region, in fact, has its own delicious tomato, which characterises and makes unique its savoury and tasty traditional recipes. There is a tomato for sauce, a tomato for Bruschetta and that for the traditional “papa al pomodoro”.
Tomato is the king of Italian cuisine, prepared in thousands and more recipes: it is perfect in almost all the preparations and it has been used for centuries. A strong economic sector has developed around this vegetable. Tomatoes differs for the shape, colour and taste, they can be round, long, squared, red or with green shades (do not get wrong with the green colour that is a symptom of unripening).
From North to South, we want you to make a journey to know the best Italian tomatoes, real excellences of our land and tables. All we are going to present, now, are 4 types of tomato 100% Made in Italy even if the list could be longer.
Cuore di Bue
Cuore di Bue is a real delicacy among the Italian tomatoes: big and floury; its taste is rich and the pulp is thick and full with few seeds. Its colour is bright red with possible purple shades. It is a Traditional Agricultural Product that is cultivated all over Italy. The average weight can vary between 200 and 300 gr but can reach even 500g, the peel is thin and with external wrinkles. It has been cultivated for many years reaching a great success when some farmers from Liguria selected a new variety “Cuore di bue ligure”. In cooking, Cuore di Bue is great if ate raw, in slices or pieces, seen its organoleptic properties. It is perfect in a Caprese with mozzarella or in a mixed salad.
Pomodoro San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP
San Marzano tomatoes are the pride and merit of Campania and they are the most famous tomatoes in the world. In fact the United States really appreciate it and its famous preservation in a can.
This excellence is cultivated in the hot lands on the food of Vesuvio, in particular in the provinces of Salerno, Avellino and Naples. It was born from the cross of three varieties living at the beginning of the 900 in Sarno and Agro: Fiascona, Fiaschella and Re Umberto. A thick and rich pulp, with few seeds, characterizes it; the peel is smooth and long, sometimes pyramidal. In 1996 it has achieved the DOP label, in English the Protected Designation of Origin. We can find it for sale fresh or in cans, whole or in stripes and it is often used for the production of peeled tomatoes or concentrated. This tomato is perfect to prepare home made sauces, but it is possible to eat it also raw given its sweet and sour taste, paired with Buffalo Mozzarella Campana DOP!
Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP
Remaining in Campania, there is another delicacy among the Italian tomatoes. They are small tomatoes; they don’t exceed 25 gr, with an oval shape, like a plum with a pointed top and often wrinkles at the peduncle level. The peel has a bright vermilion red, it is thick whereas the pulp has a rich consistency and a red colour; the taste is delicious and lively. This tomato is unique because of its preservative methods traditionally called “Al piennolo”; the small fruits are tied together in bunches until they form big bunches that are left withered all the winter. The result is a cherry tomato with a strong and pleasant taste. Its best use in cooking? The code of conduct of the DOP label approved in 2009 mention the treatment “a pacchetelle”, as a tomato puree produced with local and traditional recipes.
A Sicilian protected geographic indication; the production occurs between the provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa, lands rich in sun and hot days. Its particular atmospheric conditions give us a perfumed tomato with a bright and crispy peel, a bright red colour and a savoury pulp, rich and thick. A curiosity? Not everyone knows that Pachino Igp isn’t only a cherry tomato but there are different types:
Cherry tomato: round, small, bright red, in bunches. The pulp is thick and rich.
Bunch tomato: round, smooth, bright red; thick and lasting; the pulp is thick and rich.
With wrinkles: big and slightly squeezed with a bright dark green with marked wrinkles and a soft pulp.
Round and smooth: the colour is dark green and bright, the shape is small and round with a strong and unique taste. The pulp is crispy and rich.