Samnite Verneteca Cherry Tomato

Slow Food Presidium

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preservation techniques, its production and consumption have declined steeply, and this traditional variety has mostly been replaced by greenhouse-grown or imported tomatoes.

Season

The tomatoes are picked between August and September/October

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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, Benevento province

Presidium supported by:
Pizzeria Fresco Caracciolo
Geremia Marenna
Faicchio (Bn)
Via Fontanavecchia
tel. 328 2022310
elisamarenna@libero.it

Masserie Masella
Cerreto Sannita (Bn)
Contrada Pezzalonga, 44
Tel. 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com

Masseria Roberti
di Leonardo Roberti
Castelfranco in Miscano (Bn)
Contrada Miscano 2/a
Tel. 329 8589445
info@masseriaroberti.it

Terra mia
di Michele Vitelli
Cusano Mutri (Bn)
Contrada Sorgenze, 155
Tel. 328 8146677
terramia.az.agricola@gmail.com

Paola Serafino
Colle Sannita (Bn)
Via Luigi Galganetti, 21
Tel. 328 3276337
dipaolaserafino@gmail.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Luigi Cutillo
Tel. +39 328 8933581
lcutillo1957@gmail.com

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Geremia Marenna
Tel. +39 328 2022310
elisamarenna@libero.it|
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, Benevento province

Presidium supported by:
Pizzeria Fresco Caracciolo
Geremia Marenna
Faicchio (Bn)
Via Fontanavecchia
tel. 328 2022310
elisamarenna@libero.it

Masserie Masella
Cerreto Sannita (Bn)
Contrada Pezzalonga, 44
Tel. 328 8726313
masserie.masella@gmail.com

Masseria Roberti
di Leonardo Roberti
Castelfranco in Miscano (Bn)
Contrada Miscano 2/a
Tel. 329 8589445
info@masseriaroberti.it

Terra mia
di Michele Vitelli
Cusano Mutri (Bn)
Contrada Sorgenze, 155
Tel. 328 8146677
terramia.az.agricola@gmail.com

Paola Serafino
Colle Sannita (Bn)
Via Luigi Galganetti, 21
Tel. 328 3276337
dipaolaserafino@gmail.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Luigi Cutillo
Tel. +39 328 8933581
lcutillo1957@gmail.com

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Geremia Marenna
Tel. +39 328 2022310
elisamarenna@libero.it|

Territory

StateItaly
RegionCampania