Piennolo del Vesuvio Dop cherry tomatoes

pomodorini del piennolo del vesuvio dop

With the term piennolo we indicate the traditional technique with which the typical small tomatoes, grown in the Vesuvian air of the Neapolitan countryside, are tied into bunches after harvesting, to then be hung in ventilated rooms and preserved even until the end of the winter season.

A technique from which the name given to this derives particular family of tomatoes, the Lycopersicon esculentum, is known, and which is characterized by the typical flask shape with a pointed apex, by the particularly consistent peel, the strong attachment to the penducle and a red pulp with an intense flavor, between sweet and sour.

Tradition and territory in a typical product of the Campania tradition

It can be considered among the oldest agricultural products of the Campania region, and they are grouped under the name Piennolo tomato ancient local cultivars selected by the work of farmers over the centuries.

There are eighteen municipalities, located at slopes of Vesuvius, until reaching lands closer to the sea, where the cultivation of Piennolo cherry tomatoes is authorized, which in 2009 the PDO protected designation of origin has been recognised The tomatoes that fall under this denomination, in addition to having the characteristics listed above, must be grown following the specifications of the ministerial decree and the production specifications for the "Piennolo tomato from Vesuvius”.

The typical nature of the cherry tomato is recognized as closely linked to the production area and it is here that all the activities related to it must take place: in addition to cultivation and harvesting, also processing and conservation. Only this can guarantee that the peculiarities and typical features of the cherry tomato are maintained, so that it remains good to eat both fresh, within four days of harvesting, and preserved. The concentration of sugars and acids capable of retaining all the organoleptic properties of this vegetable for a long time are the factors that determine its goodness even after a few months of harvesting (certainly, only if well preserved). In addition to these factors, the volcanic formation of the geographical area, particularly rich in minerals, is also the origin of the lively and slightly acidic taste, as well as the structure of the Piennolo tomato from Vesuvius.

As an indigenous product, in fact, the production of the cherry tomato is perfectly integrated with the climatic and geological conditions of the Somma-Vesuvius area, and this is why it requires little irrigation, developing alow environmental impact agriculture.

Although it is a product of excellence, perfectly integrated into the gastronomic culture of Naples and the surrounding area, it is not a vegetable that boasts great commercialization, both due to the fragmentation of the cultivation land and the lack of adequate development policies. However, the perception of high quality of the Piennolo cherry tomato, the demand for it is increasingly increasing, both fresh and preserved, even outside the Campania region.

The Piennolo tomato, a typical Campania product, on the table of 'Gusto, in Rome

The influence of Campania culture on the neighboring regions has always been important, even in the kitchen, due to the excellent gastronomic products that this region has always produced and exported. In the historic center of Rome, the restaurant 'Gusto chose to combine the tomatoes from Piennolo del Vesuvio in a recipe typical of the Roman and Lazio areas: amatriciana.

In the recipe for Maccheroncini all'amatriciana by 'Gusto, the slightly acidic flavor of the Piennolo cherry tomato goes perfectly with the pungent taste of pecorino romano and with the character of a good bacon, in this specific case, of bacon from the ancient Falorni butcher's shop in Greve in Chianti, Tuscany. A dish that could be defined as a riot of flavors, an expression of the best Italian rural production. Selected products that confirm 'Gusto's research into the selection of quality raw materials for your kitchen.