In the villages of inland Sicily, no family would start the winter without a stock of tomato passata, either preparing it on their own or with the rest of the community. The Siccagno tomatoes would be processed at the height of summer. The tomatoes were cooked immediately after harvesting, then spread out on boards made from woven reeds, cannizze, which were covered with a cloth and set out in the sun, in the street or in a courtyard. Every so often the women and children would stir the tomato paste. Once it had dried, oil-greased hands were used to form it into balls, called astrattu, which were stored in jars.
Tomatoes suited to this type of processing can no longer be found. Cultivation without irrigation doesn’t require water, but the harvest is scanty, so the technique was abandoned and the old Siccagno tomatoes were replaced with modern hybrids.
Presidium Siccagno tomatoes are harvested from the middle of July to the end of August, but are available year-round as puree (passata) or extract.
Upper Belìci Valley Municipalities, Caltanissetta and Palermo Provinces
Fattoria Di Gesu
di Francesco Di Gesu
Strada Statale 121
Tel. +39 333 7192887
Vincenzo e Rosa Pisa
Tel. +39 3200575768
Fabio Di Francesco
Tel. +39 348 8568642