Heirloom Vesuvius Apricot Varieties

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Campania

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

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Heirloom Vesuvius Apricot Varieties

“After the fig, the apricot is perhaps the most abundant fruit-bearing tree in the Naples area, particularly around Vesuvius, where it grows better than elsewhere; there are several varieties of the fruit, known in our dialect as crisommole,” recounts the Breve ragguaglio dell’Agricoltura e Pastorizia del Regno di Napoli (“Brief report on agriculture and stock rearing in the Kingdom of Naples”) written in the middle of the 19th century. The Vesuvius apricots are extremely sweet and with better sensory qualities than modern varieties, but they are also more delicate and perishable, making them unsuited to the modern produce market.
The names of the varieties are unusual: Boccuccia, Pellecchiella, Vitillo, Cafona, Vicienzo e’ Maria… This diversity bears witness to the intense varietal selection carried out over the centuries by the Vesuvian growers to obtain the best results from one of their most profitable local resources. The varieties all have their own characteristics: the Boccuccia can be smooth or spiny depending on the roughness of the skin and has a slightly sweet-tart flavor, the Vitillo is large and round, ideal for preserving in syrup, while the Pellecchiella is considered one of the best thanks to its particularly sweet flavor and extraordinary fragrance.
The apricot plants would be sown and their development observed carefully. If they showed particularly interesting morphological, organoleptic or commercial traits they would be tended and propagated, otherwise they would be dug up. A new variety selected by the growers, known in the vernacular as pelese, razza verace, razza riuscita or razza nativa, would take the surname, first name or nickname of its grower, or be called after its place or farm of origin, or be named for some outstanding characteristic of the plant or fruit.
Of the hundred or so documented cultivars, around 70 still survive, but most are only found in varietal collection orchards.
Around 15 apricot cultivars are still grown on a slightly wider scale, by small farms located at between 50 and 150 meters above sea level on the slopes of Vesuvius. The soil is volcanic and mostly sandy and the apricot plants are grown intercropped with other fruits and vegetables. Chemicals are not used for weed control, and only organic products are used for fertilizing.
The harvest is carried out manually between June and July. After harvesting, the apricots are immediately taken to the market so that they can be enjoyed perfectly ripe, when they are at their best, or used to make jams and pastries.

Season

Harvested from the first week of June to the end of July

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Since the 1970s, urbanization around Vesuvius has significantly limited agricultural activities and restricted apricot cultivation to tiny orchards, often surrounded by buildings. During the same years, new markets and new production zones in other regions began to emerge. The focus was on the selection and planting of modern varieties and cultivation in high-density orchards suited to mechanization, impossible on the Vesuvian slopes.
The decline in Campanian production is clear from the figures: In the 1980s the region was responsible for around 40% of national production and 70% of total production in the South, while today these numbers have fallen to 30% and 40% respectively.
The Slow Food Presidium wants to revive this crop, safeguarding the varietal biodiversity, protecting the old orchards, identifying the most common cultivars among those still being grown (around 15, including the varieties mentioned above), improving the harvesting and marketing systems to make the most of the fruits’ sensory qualities and highlighting the unique characteristics of each variety.

Production area
Vesuvian municipalities, Naples province, Campania region

Presidium supported by
progetto iPark- Presidio e Cittadinanza - Cod. prog. 2015 - AMB - 0070
Ager di Monica Romano
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
via Pigno 127
tel. 328 8961487
azienda.ager@gmail.com

L’Alloro di Pasquale Ascione
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
via Raffaele Apicella, 17
tel. 081 8972250
ascione09@libero.it

Mario Angrisani
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Via Collegiata, 2
tel. 3296235216
az.agricola.angrisani@gmail.com

Antica Trochlea di Luciana De Martino
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
Via Stefano Trinchera, 33
tel. 392 9479427
info@anticatrochlea.it

Campo dei Miracoli di Francesco Porricelli
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
via Duca della Regina 18
tel. 329 6125951
porricellifrancesco699@gmail.com

Casale Pietropaolo di Francesco Espresso
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Aldo Moro, 8
tel. 333 3366260
info@casalepietropaolo.it

Porzia De Falco
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Donnaregina, 11
tel. 3384977157
annamariafazzolini@virgilio.it

Vincenzo Egizio
Brusciano (Na)
Via Camillo Cucca, 295
tel. 3892713615
scrivenzo@libero.it

Eligo di Saverio Bifulco
Ottaviano (Na)
Via Prisco di Prisco, 190
tel. 0815288635 – 3336275495
info@eligofoods.com

Masseria Clementina di Antonio Buscè
Ottaviano (Na)
Via Municipio, 60
info@masseriaclementina.it

Masseria dello Sbirro di Lorenzo Cozzolino
Ercolano (Na)
Via Luigi Palmieri, 90
tel. 3496212808
info@masseriadellosbirro.it

Federico Perna
Via Lagno Fossa dei Leoni, 11
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
tel. +39 3487141474
federicoperna@libero.it

Francesco Porricelli
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Pomigliano, 59
tel. 3343349017
simone.porricelli@gmail.com

Le prelibatezze di nonno Luigi di Pierfrancesco Ammendola
San Giuseppe Vesuviano (Na)
Via San Leonardo, 83
tel. 0818279330 – 3393525973
antichisaporives@libero.it

Luigi Rea
Cercola (Na)
Via Totari, 1
tel. 3382986495
rlagricoltura@gmail.com

Villa Mazza al Vesuvio di Simona Briganti
Torre del Greco (Na)
Via Boccea, 6
tel. 3397055185
smbriga@gmail.com








Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Maria Lionelli
tel. 338 5318935
marialionelli244@gmail.com

Producer’s coordinator
Gaetano Romano
tel. 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it
Since the 1970s, urbanization around Vesuvius has significantly limited agricultural activities and restricted apricot cultivation to tiny orchards, often surrounded by buildings. During the same years, new markets and new production zones in other regions began to emerge. The focus was on the selection and planting of modern varieties and cultivation in high-density orchards suited to mechanization, impossible on the Vesuvian slopes.
The decline in Campanian production is clear from the figures: In the 1980s the region was responsible for around 40% of national production and 70% of total production in the South, while today these numbers have fallen to 30% and 40% respectively.
The Slow Food Presidium wants to revive this crop, safeguarding the varietal biodiversity, protecting the old orchards, identifying the most common cultivars among those still being grown (around 15, including the varieties mentioned above), improving the harvesting and marketing systems to make the most of the fruits’ sensory qualities and highlighting the unique characteristics of each variety.

Production area
Vesuvian municipalities, Naples province, Campania region

Presidium supported by
progetto iPark- Presidio e Cittadinanza - Cod. prog. 2015 - AMB - 0070
Ager di Monica Romano
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
via Pigno 127
tel. 328 8961487
azienda.ager@gmail.com

L’Alloro di Pasquale Ascione
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
via Raffaele Apicella, 17
tel. 081 8972250
ascione09@libero.it

Mario Angrisani
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Via Collegiata, 2
tel. 3296235216
az.agricola.angrisani@gmail.com

Antica Trochlea di Luciana De Martino
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
Via Stefano Trinchera, 33
tel. 392 9479427
info@anticatrochlea.it

Campo dei Miracoli di Francesco Porricelli
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
via Duca della Regina 18
tel. 329 6125951
porricellifrancesco699@gmail.com

Casale Pietropaolo di Francesco Espresso
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Aldo Moro, 8
tel. 333 3366260
info@casalepietropaolo.it

Porzia De Falco
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Donnaregina, 11
tel. 3384977157
annamariafazzolini@virgilio.it

Vincenzo Egizio
Brusciano (Na)
Via Camillo Cucca, 295
tel. 3892713615
scrivenzo@libero.it

Eligo di Saverio Bifulco
Ottaviano (Na)
Via Prisco di Prisco, 190
tel. 0815288635 – 3336275495
info@eligofoods.com

Masseria Clementina di Antonio Buscè
Ottaviano (Na)
Via Municipio, 60
info@masseriaclementina.it

Masseria dello Sbirro di Lorenzo Cozzolino
Ercolano (Na)
Via Luigi Palmieri, 90
tel. 3496212808
info@masseriadellosbirro.it

Federico Perna
Via Lagno Fossa dei Leoni, 11
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
tel. +39 3487141474
federicoperna@libero.it

Francesco Porricelli
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Via Pomigliano, 59
tel. 3343349017
simone.porricelli@gmail.com

Le prelibatezze di nonno Luigi di Pierfrancesco Ammendola
San Giuseppe Vesuviano (Na)
Via San Leonardo, 83
tel. 0818279330 – 3393525973
antichisaporives@libero.it

Luigi Rea
Cercola (Na)
Via Totari, 1
tel. 3382986495
rlagricoltura@gmail.com

Villa Mazza al Vesuvio di Simona Briganti
Torre del Greco (Na)
Via Boccea, 6
tel. 3397055185
smbriga@gmail.com








Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Maria Lionelli
tel. 338 5318935
marialionelli244@gmail.com

Producer’s coordinator
Gaetano Romano
tel. 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionCampania