Farm Focus: Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio
Last year around this time, Mario and Rachel went to the National Heirloom Seed Expo to research varieties for our vegetable field. Some of you have already enjoyed a few of the varieties they selected including the Boule d'or melon and the Itachi cucumber.
One variety we are very excited about is the Pomodorino Piennolo del Vesuvio, which roughly translates to "hanging cherry tomato from Vesuvius." They are a small pear shaped tomato that is one of the traditional varieties grown in the Campania region of Southern Italy near Mt. Vesuvius.
This tomato is prized for use on pasta, sauces, and on pizzas. Many people also preserve them in olive oil. Piennolo means "hanging." As the name indicates, the tomatoes are hung in clusters on string and left in a cool well ventilated area. As they dry, their flavor becomes more concentrated and intense. They can hang for several months without deteriorating, to be used for cooking as needed. The longer they hang, the more intense the flavor.
These tomatoes are not commonly found in the United States, even at Farmer's Markets, so we are pleased to be able to offer them in limited quantities to our CSA members. We hope you'll give them a try and share your dinner pics with us on instagram at @froghollowcsa.