The Vesuvius fruits: piennolo tomatoes

 In Gastronomic Excellences

DOBEDOO – Moving around the fields of Vesuvius, I see Ciro who is on his cultivated fields: he is dealing with his cherry tomatoes, the Piennolo Tomatoes, and is smiling as he looks at how much he harvested this year. His son, Pasquale, has already begun for several years to follow him in his daily walks among the lands, and today he asks his dad some questions about those flashy cherry tomatoes.

Ciro begins to tell a legend which has been passed down for centuries about the fertility of their land: “It seems that Lucifer created Naples by stealing a piece of paradise, but the earth, touched by the Devil, became arid and flamboyant. When Jesus saw that corner of the world subtracted from Heaven began to weep, and his tears fell on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius that made it fertile and productive.

Hence the peculiarity of the piennolo tomatoes, which can be grown only three hundred meters above the sea level on the land, rich in minerals, of the Vesuvius National Park.

It is not a coincidence that the EU, in 2009, declared it as DOP.

I remember that Pasquale was very curious about the particular name of the tomato, and for this reason he asked to his dad “Why  is it called piennolo tomatoes?”, and Ciro smiling answered “My dear, the name “piennolo” is due to the way in which tomatoes are stored and grown, they are “hanged” in a net holding them suspended on sticks or pieces of wood”. In Torre del Greco, it is told that the wives of fishermen and seafarers helped to weave and mend the nets needed for fishing.

When the husbands were at sea, women used the same procedure to weave the small knots of the piennolo net .

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