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The Red Gold of Vesuvius: Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio D.O.P.

Italian traditional meal Tradizione Italiana


Tomato is a very famous and appreciated ingredient in Italy, is used in many traditional recipes, and is much loved by Italian. But do you know its origins?

"The golden apple" was imported from America in the 16th century as a plant for ornament, it had a characteristic golden color which, after decades of Mediterranean climate and selections on the part of the peasants, it has become the red we know.

This vegetable finds its maximum expression in Naples, on the slopes of Vesuvius, where the generous sun, the volcanic soil, and the proximity to the sea give a unique sweetness to this fruit.  Thus one of the oldest and most typical tomatoes from Campania: the Piennolo Vesuvius PDO.

The “Pomodoro del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP” is cultivated, still today, with traditional methods with completely manual cultivation and processing. These tomatoes, weighing about 25-30 grams, have one round shape with a characteristic "lace" at the lower end. The skin is leathery and the pulp, firm and compact, it has a characteristic sweet taste with a sour aftertaste, due to the particular concertation of sugars and mineral salts of this tomato.

The "Pomodoro del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP" can be eaten fresh or in the classic conserves in a jar, but the most typical and traditional form of preservation is that of “piennolo”. In fact, thanks to the leathery peel, whole bunches, harvested between July and August, are placed on a tied hemp thread in a circle, to compose a single large cluster kept hanging in dry and ventilated places. This system favors a slow maturation and allows us to have "fresh red gold" until spring following the year of cultivation.

The "Pomodoro del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP" is highly appreciated in various recipes: on traditional pizza, for a ragù, for bruschetta, a sauce, or a delicious dish with spaghetti and others typical products of Campania.

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