Il Pomodoro (Tomato)

Born in Latin America, the tomato was a wild plant that infested corn crops. But it soon became clear that production was improving. It was initially called tomatl due to its round shape. Only in 1500, however, was it brought to Spain but it had a very slow development. In fact, it was in 1700 that the goodness of the tomato was finally understood, which takes its name from the French pomme d’amour and from Sicily pummurammuri, while in central and southern Italy it is called the golden apple. Due to the favourable climatic conditions, Italy is the country where the cultivation and production of tomatoes are most developed and where it is used most at the table and where today it is the emblem of the country and is the basis of the Mediterranean diet.

In fact, the tomato is first eaten cut together with slices of mozzarella giving rise to a dish that is called caprese. We can also try it baked and stuffed with rice, or stuffed with tuna and mayonnaise. Great use of tomatoes, especially in summer, is made cut into small pieces or slices and combined with salad, corn, egg, olives, anchovies, onions, mozzarella.

Another way to use the tomato is the puree that is the sauce. To do this you have to take the tomatoes, wash them, let them dry. Then you have to chop them through the squeezer. It is very important to decide whether you want a thicker or more liquid sauce and for this, you have to choose the smallest or largest type of hole in the strainer. Once all this is done, add a little salt and fill glass bottles by adding a basil leaf. Once the bottle is closed with a steel cap, the bottles must be left in boiling water for several hours. Once cooled, our tomato sauce is ready.

Now we can use it to season pasta with the simplest dish which is spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, or we can put it on a nice Margherita pizza together with fresh mozzarella and basil and extra virgin olive oil. Many also use to drink tomato juice directly, which is also highly appreciated for its antioxidant properties such as beta-carotene and vitamins b, c, d, e and anticancer. It is also used in sauces, soups but also in a cocktail called bloody mary along with vodka, tabasco, lemon, salt and pepper. The best known is the tomato of San Marzano (DOP).

It is produced in the province of Salerno and is the most suitable for making peeled tomatoes and preserves. Then we have the typical Sicilian Pachino tomatoes, the Sorrentini, wrinkled and pulpy, the small cherry tomatoes. There is also the yellow tomato that is produced in Castelfiorentino. And let’s not forget the Perino, with its typical elongated shape, suitable for salads, and the heart of an ox, green-red, large and with a thick skin that recalls the shape of the heart of an ox, the ribbed that has the ribbed shape of the fruit. , the typical piennolo of the Campania region that was born at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano and takes its name for its resemblance to a pendulum. The camone that we find in the Sardinia region and the datterino that grows in clusters, the belmonte typical of the Calabria region that can even exceed a kilo weight, of manduria from the Puglia region, the patataro and the spagnoletta used to accompany the fish. However, there are more than five hundred existing varieties and each one is more suitable for different use in the kitchen and the main producing countries are China, India and Turkey.

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