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  • Writer's pictureErmanno Lelli

Pomodoro Del Piennolo - The Best of Italian Flavors

We all know about San Marzanos. Their usage exemplifies chefs' high appreciation for prized plum tomatoes in the best tomato dishes all around the world. But they're not the only obsession-worthy Italian tomato on the market. It's time to get to know Piennolo.

"These flavorful tomatoes surpass San Marzano tomatoes."

Piennolo Del Vesuvio is an ancient Italian tomato variety, which dates back to 1858 or earlier, and was originally found in Campania, in the vicinity of Pompeii, along with the surrounding Vesuviano volcano (known as Mount Somma and Vesuvius).

Blood-red, plum-sized fruits are oval in shape with a distinctive pointed tip and are frequently tapered at the stalk. With a sweet and sour taste and an intense tomato aroma. Even after complete ripeness, the fruits remain attached to the plant, have a fairly thick skin & firm flesh, and have a high sugar and acid content. These characteristics enable the storage of fruit for an extended period of time.

In the region where the variety originated, the entire bunch is plucked from the plant after approximately 70% ripeness of the fruit. They are then tied in dozens of giant clusters and hung in somewhat shielded but airy locations to mature gradually. Fruit preserved in this way will stay for up to 7-8 months. They are consumed fresh till spring and are utilized in various dishes, sauces, seafood dishes, and pizza.

“If you've never tasted Piennolo, you're missing out on an incredible treat."

It's worth noting that the distinctive qualities of the Piennolo Del Vesuvio tomatoes listed above are not only due to the variety's genetics but also of the variety's specific growth environment in nutrient-rich volcanic soils in a warm Mediterranean climate.

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status

The Pomodoro del piennolo (or Pomodorino Del Piennolo del Vesuvio) variety is classified as a PDO in Italy (Protected Designation of Origin), indicating that the product bears this abbreviation was manufactured in a specific region, location, or exceptional situation within the country. The name of the place of manufacture of this item is exclusive and cannot be used for products produced using alternative manufacturing techniques or recipes. Additionally, the protected mark of origin's distinctive features and quality should be tied to the place of origin. The cultural and natural factors that exist there should influence its characteristics. Both the raw material production and the complete production procedure of the product should take place in the location denoted by the product's name.

Culinary Uses

Piennolo, the tomato that captured the hearts of Naples.

Piennolo tomatoes have a unique flavor that entices you to return for more, and then some more: sweet, mineral, and somewhat bitter, dry but strong, a nuanced tomato for tomato lovers. When eaten raw, their bright tartness and stunning fruitiness awaken the senses; they impart a deep umami flavor to any dish when cooked. They are perfect for pasta, sauces, canning, and salads.

Piennolo Pasta Sauce

"Italian Flavors at Their Finest in this simple and delicious Recipe."

See my recipe for Amatriciana with piennolo tomato or Order online from casa pasta to have an awesome experience

See my recipe for Puttanesca with piennolo tomato(link) or Place an order here(link)

Sauté the garlic cloves in olive oil for 2-4 minutes. Add a few basil leaves before adding the peeled and halved tomatoes. Cook for just long enough to bring out the juices of the tomatoes. Take off the garlic clove from the sauce. The sauce is ready; set aside. Boil the pasta until al dente, drain, and add to the tomato sauce. Serve topped with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.


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