The Azienda Agricola Don Camillo presents His Majesty the tomato from Vesuvius
Volcanoes are not only something negative. On the contrary, their presence often provides the surrounding soil with exceptional features where unique products are grown. One of these is the Piennolo tomato from Somma Vesuviana, grown in a very fertile soil close to the Vesuvius, rich in minerals and especially in potassium. This variety has obtained the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certification by the UE, which protects and promotes the typical products, namely the products whose qualities come from the close connection to their territory of origin.
It is a further guarantee for the consumers, who are sure to buy a known, genuine and healthy product and have the opportunity to give their contribution to the local economy, reinforcing the identity of the territory.
The Piennolo tomato from Somma Vesuviana is one of the most typical products in the area and is also known as tomato “del serbo”, “col pizzo”, “piennolo” because it was usually hung up in bunches to the wall or the ceiling with hemp strings. The Piennoli are small-sized tomatoes, each of them weighs approximately 20-25 grams, they are cherry-shaped and characterized by two lateral grooves, called “coste”, which start from the stalk and create squares, and a tip, a “pizzo”, at the end. Other peculiarities are: thick and resistant skin, the pulp is compact because it has a low quantity of juice, thanks to the continuous exposure to the sun which heats up the arid volcanic soil. The sowing time is from March to April, whereas the fruits ripen from July to August.
The old procedure to store themstartedfromharvesting whole bunches of tomatoes at the beginning of the summer and then store them until the winter or the following summer.
This trick makes sure you can have a tasty supply of Neapolitan “pummarola” (tomato sauce) to season all the delicious dishes of the Neapolitan traditions, from the famous pizza to the fish dishes.
The cultivation of the tomatoes “col pizzo” is a must-have among the farmers in the area, who always sow a row of them to store them for the winter.
The Piennolo tomato from Somma Vesuviana is furthermore a Slow Food presidium, as fresh and processed product in bunches.
A further quality certification, which is not official (it is awarded by Slow food’s scientific committee), but uses some defining criteria that are very similar to the PDO and PGI certifications.
The Azienda Agricola Don Camillo produces also another delicious productthat is the yellow tomato Giagiù.
Its soft and balanced taste makes it a valid ingredient for sauces, velvet creams and yellow vegetable creams (carrots, pumpkin, peppers), enhancing their colour and adding a pleasing sweet note.
It is cultivated in small plots of land, 200-550 metres above sea level, on the volcanic soil of the Vesuvius National Park, with the same techniques of the red cherry tomatoes.
Both varieties are sold as fresh products, in bunches, in the “pacchetelle” version (cut into two halves) and as 100% tomato sauce or whole tomatoes with water and salt.