If you've never tried Piennolo, you are missing out on a truly exceptional treat. Sapori Vesuviani Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP is shockingly fresh-tasting, with a bold, richly sweet flavor and pleasantly tart finish. Small and meaty, Piennolo tomatoes are sliced in half and jarred with their thick skin still on. Unlike other Italian tomatoes, these delicate little Piennolo tomatoes do not stand up to long cooking. They're so sweet they require very little to make a special sauce. Add a bit of olive oil and garlic, heat them gently in a pan for a few minutes and toss with Spaghetti for a deliciously simple dinner. Or use them to top your next homemade pizza! Piennolo are one of only a handful of varieties of tomatoes authorized by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana for the authentic pie. Piennolo tomatoes have such an outstanding, balanced flavor they can also be eaten raw. We love them crushed up in Pesto Trapanese
with almonds and basil or with a bit of salt as a topping for bruschetta.
Azienda Agricola Sapori Vesuviani Piennolo tomatoes come from an endangered ancient variety rescued thanks also to the hard work of Pasquale Imperato, the producer behind Sapori Vesuviani. These Piennolo tomatoes grow in the Mount Vesuvius National Park in Campania. The fiery sun, low rainfall, and mineral-rich soil of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius give these tomatoes a high concentration of sugars and acids, allowing them to preserve their remarkable fresh flavor over time.
At Sapori Vesuviani, farmers hand-pick each tomato; some of the tomatoes get preserved in the traditional method by intertwining the vines in upside-down bunches. "Piennolo" means "hanging" in the Neapolitan dialect, a tribute to the local tradition of storing these tomatoes hanging from the ceilings in the winter. As the tomatoes dry upside down, their skins thin, and their pulp softens and almost caramelizes, enhancing their natural sweetness. These specific tomatoes, however, are preserved by cutting them in half and jarring them in their own juices. In fact, the word you see on the jars, "Pacchetella," means halved.