The Vesuvian Piennolo Tomato PDO (Lycopersicon esculentum) is one of the most typical agricultural products of Campania, so to be represented even in the scene of the traditional Neapolitan crib. It benefits from the volcanic soil and the generous sun: it is said that even his "burning" color is the work of the volcano, because according to legend, its roots are nourished by the lava of Vesuvius.
The Vesuvian Piennolo Tomato is grown with a traditional method, which involves the use of wooden stakes and iron wires, which prevent that the berries touch the ground and ensure that they receive sunlight evenly. The tomatoes, weighing about 25-30 grams, are round and have a little pointed tip at the bottom end. The skin is leathery and the pulp is firm and compact. It has a characteristic sweet sour aftertaste, due to the concentration of sugars and minerals
This variety is also called "Piennolo" because the traditional preservation technique is based on the formation of "Piennoli", ie pendulums: whole bunches, collected between July and August, placed on a hemp thread tied in a circle, to compose a single large cluster, kept suspended in dry and ventilated places. This system favors a slow maturation and allows to have "fresh red gold" until the spring following the year of cultivation.
Over the months, the Tomato, despite losing his firmness, takes on a unique and delicious flavor, becoming an essential ingredient of many typical Neapolitan dishes: gives a unique touch to pizza, bruschetta, spaghetti, sauces, fish gravies and many other recipes.
The Vesuvian Piennolo Tomato is appreciated in the market both fresh and in the typical conserved " al Piennolo", or even as preserved in glass, according to an old family recipe of the area, called " Pacchetella ". The typical area of production and preservation of Piennolo Tomato coincides with the territory of the Vesuvius National Park.
The Tomato is rich in vitamins A and C, whose anticancer effects are well known, in mineral salts such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium, which are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and muscles, and in Lycopene, that has an antioxidant function, stimulating the production of enzymes that block the carcinogenic action of free radicals.