Santorini Cherry Tomato

Ark of taste
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Tomataki Santorinis

Cherry tomato locally called Tomataki Santorinis’ or Santorini tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) is a native plan of Santorini Island in Grece. It is pink and red in colour, has flattened shape with intense pitting, round shape with light pitting, but there is a round fruit with a smooth surface called kaisia and giotiko or kiotiko with a slightly oval shape. The fruits have small shapes, and their weight is about 15-30g. Also, they have thick flesh, and they are very tasty. The small-fruited tomato of Santorini arrived on the island between the years 1875-1880. There are two myths about its origin. It is believed that progressive Catholic monks brought it from Italy or Greek sailors brought the first seeds of a different tomato in 1875 from distant Suez, which withstood conditions of almost absolute drought and produced a much smaller fruit, with excellent taste.
All stages of the production, processing, and conversion of the product with the name ‘Cherry Tomato Santorini’ must be carried out within the defined geographical production zone, which includes the islands of Thira, Thirasia, Palaia and Nea Kameni, Aspro, Christiani and Askania of the distinct of Cyclades, of the South Aegean region of the Hellenic Republic. Everything, even today, is done in the old traditional way, by hand since the special features of the soil does not allow the use of agricultural machinery. If the soil is plowed mechanically, the crust that protects its natural moisture will be destroyed. The harvest begins in mid-July and by August, when the harvest begins, the process is complete. The tomatoes are washed, cut crosswise, placed on sheets, and covered with a protective screen. For five or six days they are left in a covered area, until they dry naturally.
In July, for about 20 days, tomatoes are harvested from small and large fields from the plains of Oia to the slopes and Prophet Ilias. Tomato celebration takes places for all in Santorini. From the fields, the production is transferred to the Union factory on the beach of Monolithos. They can be consumed in different ways, such as in paste, meatballs, and sweets. Tomato meatballs (fake meatballs) of Santorini consist of tomato, chopped onion, fresh mint, one glass of beer, and 5–6 spoons of flour. However, spaghetti with Santorini paste is another traditional dish which is rich in Santorini tomato paste and has a little extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil.
Today, a whole group of people, spearheaded by the Union of Cooperatives of Theraic Products and the Nomikou family, continue the fight to preserve the cultivation and spread of the tiny, dehydrated tomato. In fact, the Research and Development Department of the Union of Cooperatives of Products of Thira has planned the installation of experimental tomato fields, to investigate their adaptation to different environments and the application of new cultivation techniques.

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Nominated by:Filiz Mpimper