The Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio
The Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio or simply the Pomodorino Vesuviano is a tomato variety grown in the southern region of Campania, around Mount Vesuvius. It is one of the oldest and most typical variety grown in the region. The variety has even obtained a protected status: it can only be grown in 18 places on those slopes near the city of Naples.
The Pomodorino Vesuviano is an oval-shaped or heart-shaped tomato with the size and sweet taste of cherry tomatoes. Thanks to its thick skin, it is very suitable for storage and the Neapolitans traditionally hang the strands from their balconies. Hence the name Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio, which should be translated as ‘hanging tomatoes of Vesuvius’.
The characteristics of the Piennolo (hanging) tomatoes are strictly related to the soil where they are cultivated, which is the result of millennia of stratification of lava. They benefit from the high concentration of minerals of the rich lava soil. They are planted between March and April and ripen between July and August; they can be stored in clusters for months or canned for year-round consumption.
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