Samnite Verneteca Cherry Tomato

Italy

Campania

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

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Samnite Verneteca Cherry Tomato

Cultivated in the foothills of the Samnite Apennines, the Samnite Verneteca is a tomato da serbo (for preserving) and most likely a member of the cherry tomato family.
The small, round fruits are slightly flattened at the stalk end, and some can have a pointed tip. The skin is yellow while the flesh is pinkish.
Thanks to its characteristics and the thickness of the skin, the tomato can be stored outdoors, then eaten raw throughout the winter, hence the name vernino or verneteca, from inverno (winter).
The tomatoes are grown on supports made from posts and wires, and cultivated entirely manually. The growing period is between May and September. The fruits are harvested in stages between August and September, though when the weather conditions allow, they can even be picked from the plant as late as the end of October. A few hours after being picked, the tomato stalks are woven together and tied with string into golden bunches known as pienneci or penneci, which are hung in ventilated but sheltered places such as balconies or under roofs. They will keep until the following spring.
Verneteca tomatoes are usually eaten raw, on bread, or briefly blanched. Rich in vitamin C, they have a pleasant acidity and crispness. They are called for in local recipes for soups, pastas and other dishes, and their value as a pizza topping is also being rediscovered.
There is little information available about the variety’s history, because in the past it was grown for home consumption only. The techniques for its cultivation used to be passed down through the generations, but with the depopulation of inland areas, competition from other varieties and new preservation techniques, its production and consumption have declined steeply, and this traditional variety has mostly been replaced by greenhouse-grown or imported tomatoes.

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Season

The tomatoes are picked between August and September and can be stored for the entire winter.

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The Verneteca cherry tomato can now be found in weekly markets in the villages where it is grown, though most of the harvest is still kept for home consumption. Only a few small-scale producers still grow the variety, and its manual cultivation means it is not a very profitable crop. The Presidium has been established to revive the traditional variety and increase yields, by recovering abandoned land in this part of the Apennines and involving new growers.

Production area:
Telesina Valley, which includes the Cerreto Sannita, Cusano Mutri, Pietraroja, Pontelandolfo, Casalduni, San Lorenzello, Solopaca, Ponte, San Lorenzo Maggiore and San Lupo municipalities, Benevento province

Presidium supported by:
Pizzeria Fresco Caracciolo
Antonella Caruso
Contrada S. Onofrio
Castelpagano (Bn)
Tel. +39 334 2776445
antonella.caruso@virgilio.it;

Giovanni Civitillo
Cusano Mutri (Bn)
Tel. +39 329 8665750
gio_petit@hotmail.it

Rita Colasanto
Contrada Varco
Castelpagano (Bn)
Tel. +39 339 8210331

Luigi Cutillo
Corso Cusani, 255
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. 0824 971647 – 328 8933581
lcuti@tin.it

Giuseppe Di Palma
Via Casaleni, 10
San Lupo (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 811159 – +39 339 6105959

Giuseppe D'Onofrio
Via delle Vigne, 7
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. +39 328 7018558
dantedo@alice.it

Mennato D'Onofrio
Via Telesini, 51
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 977648 – +39 347 5215711
mennato.donofrio@alice.it

Vincenzo Volpe
Faro Vivo
Via Sant'Angelo, 24
San Salvatore Telesino (Bn)
Tel. +39 348 3740451
coopfarovivo@tin.it

Franca Norelli
Fontana Stella
Melizzano
Frasso Telesino (Bn)
Tel. +39 347 9744898
f.norelli@hotmail.com

Margherita Leppa
San Giorgio La Molara (Bn)
Contrada Santa Varva, 1
Tel. +39 339 5701153
agricaretti@gmail.com;

Maria Grazia Marchetti
Contrada Macina, 7
San Giorgio la Molara
Tel. +39 366 5230220
benevento.marchetti@gmail.com

Pasqualina Martuccio
Contrada Bannera
Colle Sannita (Bn)
Tel. +39 348 7640310
mascia_luigi@yahoo.it

Masserie Masella
Contrada Pezzalonga, 41 b
Cerreto Sannita (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 861909 – +39 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com

Leonardo Roberti
Masseria Roberti
Contrada Miscano 2/A
Castelfranco in Miscano (Bn)
Tel. +39 329 8589445
leoroberti@libero.it

Domenico Porcelli for Comunità Emmanuel
Via Rosa Iemma, 28
Battipaglia (Sa)
Tel. +39 329 4710242
domenicoporcelli@virgilio.it
The Emmanuel Community is a partner in the Orti Storti project in Faicchio and works with disadvantaged people.

Daniela D'Oro
Terre D'Oro
Contrada Santa Lucia, 186
Apice (Bn)
Tel. +39 338 7796475
doro.daniela@yahoo.it
Slow Food Coordinator
Giorgio del Grosso
Tel. +39 333 6572862
giorgio.dlg@virgilio.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Bernardino Masella
Tel. +39 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com
The Verneteca cherry tomato can now be found in weekly markets in the villages where it is grown, though most of the harvest is still kept for home consumption. Only a few small-scale producers still grow the variety, and its manual cultivation means it is not a very profitable crop. The Presidium has been established to revive the traditional variety and increase yields, by recovering abandoned land in this part of the Apennines and involving new growers.

Production area:
Telesina Valley, which includes the Cerreto Sannita, Cusano Mutri, Pietraroja, Pontelandolfo, Casalduni, San Lorenzello, Solopaca, Ponte, San Lorenzo Maggiore and San Lupo municipalities, Benevento province

Presidium supported by:
Pizzeria Fresco Caracciolo
Antonella Caruso
Contrada S. Onofrio
Castelpagano (Bn)
Tel. +39 334 2776445
antonella.caruso@virgilio.it;

Giovanni Civitillo
Cusano Mutri (Bn)
Tel. +39 329 8665750
gio_petit@hotmail.it

Rita Colasanto
Contrada Varco
Castelpagano (Bn)
Tel. +39 339 8210331

Luigi Cutillo
Corso Cusani, 255
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. 0824 971647 – 328 8933581
lcuti@tin.it

Giuseppe Di Palma
Via Casaleni, 10
San Lupo (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 811159 – +39 339 6105959

Giuseppe D'Onofrio
Via delle Vigne, 7
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. +39 328 7018558
dantedo@alice.it

Mennato D'Onofrio
Via Telesini, 51
Solopaca (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 977648 – +39 347 5215711
mennato.donofrio@alice.it

Vincenzo Volpe
Faro Vivo
Via Sant'Angelo, 24
San Salvatore Telesino (Bn)
Tel. +39 348 3740451
coopfarovivo@tin.it

Franca Norelli
Fontana Stella
Melizzano
Frasso Telesino (Bn)
Tel. +39 347 9744898
f.norelli@hotmail.com

Margherita Leppa
San Giorgio La Molara (Bn)
Contrada Santa Varva, 1
Tel. +39 339 5701153
agricaretti@gmail.com;

Maria Grazia Marchetti
Contrada Macina, 7
San Giorgio la Molara
Tel. +39 366 5230220
benevento.marchetti@gmail.com

Pasqualina Martuccio
Contrada Bannera
Colle Sannita (Bn)
Tel. +39 348 7640310
mascia_luigi@yahoo.it

Masserie Masella
Contrada Pezzalonga, 41 b
Cerreto Sannita (Bn)
Tel. +39 0824 861909 – +39 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com

Leonardo Roberti
Masseria Roberti
Contrada Miscano 2/A
Castelfranco in Miscano (Bn)
Tel. +39 329 8589445
leoroberti@libero.it

Domenico Porcelli for Comunità Emmanuel
Via Rosa Iemma, 28
Battipaglia (Sa)
Tel. +39 329 4710242
domenicoporcelli@virgilio.it
The Emmanuel Community is a partner in the Orti Storti project in Faicchio and works with disadvantaged people.

Daniela D'Oro
Terre D'Oro
Contrada Santa Lucia, 186
Apice (Bn)
Tel. +39 338 7796475
doro.daniela@yahoo.it
Slow Food Coordinator
Giorgio del Grosso
Tel. +39 333 6572862
giorgio.dlg@virgilio.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Bernardino Masella
Tel. +39 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionCampania