Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP is a small red oval-shaped tomato, with side wrinkles and a characteristic pointy top. It is grown in Campania in the municipalities part of the Vesuvius National Park between150 and 450 m of altitude: growing tomatoes is an activity fit for a wonderful protected area like this one, since it needs little irrigation and only manual labour.
It is one of the most ancient prdoucts of Campania's agriculture, loved by Neapolitan people so much that they honored it by including it in their traditional Christmas creche.
Vesuvius' tomato is sold both fresh and conservato al piennolo ("preserved by the pendulum"): it is an ancient way of preserving tomatoes and it consists in binding different bunches of tomatoes together to form a larger bunch (the piennolo), which is bung in ventilated rooms, thus preserving it for the whole winter. As time goes by, the tomatoes lose part of their moist and gain an exceptional flavour. This preservation method is made possible by the peculiar features of the Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP: a thick skin, a fruit well bound to its stalk, a high concentration of sugar and acids which maintain its taste through the long preservation period. These features are tightly linked to the volcanic land it is grown on.
This delicious fruit is much appreciated for its sweet flavour, with a balanced acid note and slightly bitter aftertaste. It is a pivotal ingredient in may Neapolitan dishes: it is used to make wonderful sauces, as an ingredient for pizza or to enrich fish dishes.