Ancient vegetables: Belmonte tomato

Ancient vegetables: Belmonte tomato

Production area and history

Region: Calabria
Production area: Belmonte calabro (Province of Cosenza

Often nicknamed "the giant" for its truly surprising dimensions, the Pomodoro di Belmonte takes its name from the only place where it develops its best characteristics, where it is also called with the dialectal phrase "Pimmaduari e Bellimunte".
As for the history of this giant, it is possible to assume that, after importation from America at the end of the 19th century, the product acquired unique characteristics dictated by the conformation of the
territory or a possible mutation. In reality it can be distinguished in two products with different characteristics: the first, called ox heart is characterized by a weight that varies from 400 gr to 800 gr and by an elongated shape similar to a heart. The second, called the giant, has a more rounded shape and its weight can reach and exceed 2 kg.

Belmonte tomato (photo www.belmontetravel.net)

Features

Therefore, the size is the distinctive feature of this vegetable, whose weight varies by no less than 700 grams and a kilo and grows on plants that do not struggle to reach almost 3 meters in height. But what makes it special are not just its surprising measures. It is, in fact, a tomato of superfine quality whose pulp, devoid of acidity and with a low seed content, blends perfectly with the skin that never turns red but has very intense pink hues. It is distinguished by the shape similar to the tomatoes of the "ox heart" cultivar, oblong and with an enlarged center, and is highly appreciated for its shelf life.

Belmonte Tomato (photo www.agriturismoitalia.gov.it)

Cultivation technique

The ideal habitat of Belmonte is the hill with medium-deep deep soils. Considering the growth of the plant, the cultivation takes place with rows characterized by a separation of about 50/60 cm between the rows and over 120 cm of space between the inter-rows. The growth of the plant is assisted by tutors being able to support the weight of the fruits which can be considerable, especially for the basal ones, which reach the loss of 1 kg with sizes that often exceed 2 kg. It is necessary to expunge all the lateral jets, and any suckers at the base.

Production

Due to its characteristics it is advisable to consume it only in salads. Green can also be fried.


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