Manduria is located in northern Salento and its name refers to one of the most famous wines of Puglia, the Primitivo di Manduria. But it is not only a land of great wines.
Here they also grow excellent vegetables and among them, a small, oval tomato, which has a smooth and thin skin, a bright red color and, often, a small tip at the base.
The sowing of the Manduria tomato begins at the end of February, if the land is near the coastal strip, while in the hinterland it moves to March, in the period of the traditional fair Pessima, which takes place for two centuries the second week of the month (the origin of the curious name of this event – Pessima means “awful” – is not certain, according to some sources it would be linked to the often inclement weather conditions of this era).
The cultivation is manual, does not provide irrigation and excludes chemical treatments (according to the rules of organic farming). The harvest begins in the period of Sant’Antonio (June 13) and lasts until the end of July. With the ripest fruits is prepared the past. Some families – in the month of August – let the tomatoes wither on reed racks. From the tomatoes of the first stage – the best fruits, which are found at the base of the plant – the seeds are recovered for the following season.
Traditionally, the Manduria tomatoes are eaten fresh together with the carousel, a typical local cucumber or in the jatedda, a summer salad made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, oil, salt, capers and oregano with which friselle (toasted bread) are seasoned.
The Manduria tomato has a low yield compared to commercial hybrids and requires a lot of work. For this reason, despite its excellent organoleptic characteristics (both fresh and processed), it has been gradually abandoned and replaced by intensive cultivation. The seed has been tracked down thanks to some elderly farmers, who had jealously guarded it, and now the Presidium also involves some young producers, all certified organic.
The Presidium was created as part of the C.A.P. Salento project, financed by Fondazione per il Sud. The objective is to save this variety, involving new producers and above all stimulating the local market, through the involvement of the catering industry.
Municipality of Manduria
Slow Food Presidium Manager
Adriana Dilauro, Tel. 3206732913, email@example.com
Chiara D’Adamo, Contrada San Pietro in Bevagna, Manduria, Tel. +39 3274434855, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terra di Patuli, Contrada Mondo Nuovo, Manduria, Tel. +39 3283821576 / +39 3405573267 / +39 3291623062