Tomato, Quintessential Element of Italian Cuisine
Pick your favorite shape and color among more than 300 varieties of tomatoes across the nation, all different in color, size, and shape! The Italian word is “Pomodoro,” literally the “golden apple.”
TOMATOES FROM NORTH TO SOUTH
Tomatoes arrived in Europe from South America around 1500, but today they are the quintessential element of Italian cuisine. Tomato sauce and pasta are the real ambassadors of Italy worldwide. The mild climate is perfect for the cultivation. Did you know that is definitely a fruit? Yes, it is not a vegetable. One of the most well-liked varieties is “San Marzano” (Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, DOP certified) grown in the Salerno province, a beautiful gem of the South. The “Piennolo,” teardrop ended, is called “pomodorino vesuviano” after the Vesuvio volcano in Naples, is also DOP certified. The sweet Pachino (IGP certified) comes from Sicily and is small and round. The large sized “Cuore di Bue” (literally “heart of ox”) comes from Liguria, in the North of Italy, known as the Riviera. “Datterini” (little dates) and “ciliegini” (cherry tomatoes) are also very popular and especially delicious.
A SUMMER “HIT” - THE TOMATO SALAD
In the summertime, raw tomatoes are one of the Mediterranean’s favorite foods. “Insalata di Pomodoro,” the tomato salad is a staple on every Italian dinner table. You will need only raw tomatoes, onion, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh basil or oregano. Another delicious and popular option is the “Caprese,” a light salad made with tomato, fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. The name is derived from the enchanting island of Capri, in the Campania region.
NEVER IN THE FRIDGE
Storing your tomatoes in the refrigerator is always a bad idea! The cold air in the refrigerator has negative effects on tomatoes. It can alter the texture and flavor. Instead, keep them at room temperature in a bowl or a plate, away from direct sunlight.
TOMATO AND PIZZA - AN ‘ITALIAN MARRIAGE OF FLAVORS’
According to legend, in 1889 the Neapolitan Chef Raffaele Esposito invented a special tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza, in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy. Pizza Margherita, a tribute to the Italian flag (red, white and green), is still today a perfect alchemy of flavors.
THE MUSEUM OF TOMATO
Yes, we have a museum completely dedicate to tomato! If you, too, share our love of Italian tomatoes, you should visit the “Museo del Pomodoro” in Corte di Giarola, an enchanting medieval court in the province of Parma built along the famous Via Francigena. The museum is an ethnographic collection divided into seven sections featuring traditional machinery, historical models, and hundreds of photos and documents.
A SELECTION FOR YOU
Looking for the best, organic, Italian “pomodoro”? Exploring Italy from North to South in search of quality and excellence, Magnifico gathers together for you a unique selection of the best and authentic Italian tomato products. Agromonte, a boutique company from the magical island of Sicily, provide a stunning selection; From cherry tomato sauce and organic passata, to great specialty sauces like arrabbiata, norma and puttanesca. Italian excellence is just a click away!
- Arianna Scutiero