Roteño tomato

Ark of taste
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Local variety of tomatoes characterised by round and smooth fruits, with no ridges. The fruit bunches ripen at the same time on the plant, which has a dark green colour and a lush foliage – an important feature in this area as it protects fruits from sunburns. The taste is sweet and tangy and local farmers in general consider it a good tomato. We know about the existence of the Roteño tomato from the oral traditions of local farmers. The first written document about it can be found in the access catalogue of the phytogenetic resource centre of INIA (the official reference bank of state seeds), which contains two items related to the Roteño tomato. These correspond to catalogue numbers NC035890 and NC035891 and collection date August 6th 1984, in the municipality of Rota (Cadiz). The seeds were donated by an anonymous farmer with the only comment “sowing in May and harvest in August and September”. In 2001 its registration as a protected variety in the Register of Commercial Varieties was requested. The definitive registration was granted in compliance with regulation APA/1231/2006 published in the BOE (Spanish Official Journal), issue 100 of April 27th 2006. Roteño tomato is traditionally grown in the coastal vegetable gardens in the province of Cadiz (Spain).The urbanisation of the coast at the end of the last century, though, caused a deep deterioration of coastal horticultural systems, which led to the disappearance of this variety. Starting from a project of participative investigation-action and taking advantage of the claim of the right for food by a group of families in Sierra de Cádiz – who come from historic battles for the land and belong to the La Verde cooperative – the variety has been reintroduced in the province of Cadiz starting from the seed preserved at the Seed Bank of the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The positive reception by local farmers and consumers has allowed the Roteño tomato to be produced ad eaten again in the province of Cadiz.

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