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Belmonte tomato: cultivation and tradition

Belmonte tomato: cultivation and tradition



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TheBelmonte tomatois a typical Calabrian variety that takes its name from a small town in the province of Cosenza,Belmonte Calabro. TheBelmonte tomatoit is often described as onegiant tomato varietydue to its size: a Belmonte tomato can weigh up to 3 kg!

The history of theBelmonte tomatothe last century began: according to the tradition of Belmonte Calabro, this tomato arrived at the beginning of the twentieth century, brought by the local emigrant Guglielmo Mercurio who returned to his country of origin after a trip to America. TheBelmonte tomatowas included by the Ministry of Agricultural Policies in the list of traditional Calabrian agri-food products and is the only Italian tomato that can boast the iDe.C.O brandMunicipal Denomination of Origin

TheBelmonte tomatoit can be of two types: Giant and Oxheart. TheBelmonte Gigante tomatoit reaches, on average, the weight of 1 - 1.5 kg even if local farmers often collect much larger specimens, weighing around 3 kg! The most loved feature of theBelmonte tomatoit's hisshelf life, that is the consistency of the pulp and the non-sour taste, ideal to be eaten raw but also to season pasta dishes. TheBelmonte tomato Cuore di Bue, on the other hand, it has smaller pieces: the average weight varies between 500 - 600 grams, it has a firm, very sweet and bright red pulp. Ideal for those looking for a tomato with very few seeds. TheBelmonte tomato heart of Buehas an oblong shape with the lower end ending in a drop.

How to grow the Belmonte tomato

It is not easy to find the seeds ofBelmonte tomato:the genetic characteristics of these tomatoes are wisely preserved by local farmers, especially the elderly. To reach levels of excellence in full respect of tradition, there are many farmers in the village of Belmonte Calabro who manually select the seeds and produce the seedlings.

Therecultivation of the Belmonte tomatoit can only be carried out in open fields and in deep soils of medium texture: only in this way can the berries flourish and preserve their typical properties unaltered. When to cultivate?The Belmonte tomato seedlings are planted at the end of April in the coastal areas and between the end of May and the beginning of June in the hilly areas. The seedlings should be planted at a distance of about 50 - 60 cm from each other. The rows must be 120 cm apart. The plants can easily exceed 2 meters in height so they need special supports for growth.

Photo: comunedibelmontecalabro.cs.it

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