‘Piennolo del Vesuvio’ is a very old Italian tomato variety, dating back to the history of 1858 or even earlier, and originating in Campania, from the vicinity of ancient Pompeii – the volcanic region of the Monte Somma and Vesuviano peaks (Vesuvius Volcano – hence the name of the variety) and the municipality of Nola in the province Naples. The first notes about this variety, from 1858, by Bruni, were found in ‘Degli ortaggi e loro coltivazione presso la città di Napoli’, a subsequent note was made by Palmieri in 1885 and included in ‘Annuario della Reale Scuola Superiore d’ Agricoltura in Portici ‘. Blood-red, plum-shaped fruits, oval with a characteristic pointed tip, often slightly tapered at the stalk. Sweet and sour taste with intense tomato aroma. Fruits do not fall off the plant even after complete ripening, have a relatively thick skin and firm flesh, and a high content of sugars and acids. These features allow very long storage of ripe fruit. In the region of origin of the variety, the whole bunch is cut off from the plant when about 70% of the fruit ripens. Then they are tied in a dozen or even several dozen into large bunches and hung in slightly sheltered, but airy places, where they slowly mature. Fruit stored in this way can stay fresh for up to 7-8 months. Until spring they are eaten fresh and used in many dishes, sauces, seafood dishes, and pizza.
It should be remembered that the unique characteristics of the Piennolo del Vesuvio tomatoes described above result not only from the genetic properties of the variety but also from the specific growing conditions on mineral-rich volcanic soils in a warm Mediterranean climate.
It is also worth adding that the Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio D.O.P. variety has the PDO category in Italy (D.O.P. – Denominazione D’Origine Protetta – Eng. PDO – Protected Designation of Origin), which means that the product marked with this abbreviation is manufactured in a specific region, place or in exceptional situations in the country. The name of the place of manufacture of this product is reserved for it and may not be used for products manufactured elsewhere, according to other production technologies or recipes. In addition, the characteristic features of the protected designation of origin and its quality should be related to the place of origin, and the natural and cultural conditions prevailing in it should affect its features. Both – the production of raw materials and the entire production process of the product – should take place in a place resulting from its name.
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