There is a tomato variety that is grown in the area around Tortona, especially in its municipality, that goes under the name of delizia di Tortona. In the past, this tomato was also known as prugnone tortonese (brugnöu in local dialect) because of its big size and elongated form. The delizia tomato plant surely looks tough and is a high yield one. It is sown in March and the growing plant needs reed supports, tied together to form triangles or more complex structures, that may sustain the heavy plant in full production. The crop is watered laterally as follows: some grooves are digged between the plant rows to convey the water coming from the canals, receving water from the Scrivia stream in turn. The tomatoes are picked by hand from mid-July to late September. The delizia tomato is elongated and rounded and red-orange when fully ripe. As it was previously mentioned, this tomato is medium-big, and weighs from 135 to 215 gr. Some peculiarities of the delizia tomato are its scarce seeds, its juicy and thick pulp and its thin but very resistant peel. The taste of this tomato variety is surely intense and flavoursome, even when it is eaten with no dressing. It is generally eaten raw, in salads or to make sauces.
Until the early 2000s, the delizia tomato was generally very common in Tortona’s area, and many local greengrocers would sell it. However, the production has decreased recently, due to factors such as the lack of interest in the agricultural industry by the new generations, and the introduction of more marketable varieties. Nevertheless, the delizia tomato is still grown privately, thanks to those who kept it in their vegetable gardens. Its seeds are still self-produced today, by pinpointing the best tomatoes, and it is possible to buy the delizia tomato in some small local farms.