Corleone: world capital of Siccagno tomatoes
Corleone’s tomatoes are a special product you can find in the Sicilian markets from July to October. This is perfect to do one of the most traditional activities of Sicilian families: the tomato paste. there are many recipes to make it and actually each family has its own, but the basic ingredients are 3: tomatoes, basil and … the food mill! If you visit Palermo and the small Sicilian towns in summer, you will probably enjoy a sweet smell of tomato in the air: that means that in a house near you someone is preparing the tomato paste! It is very important to choose the right tomatoes: the best, in our opinion, is the Siccagno tomato from Corleone.
Corleone is a large agricultural center between Palermo and Agrigento, a place of cattle and sheep breeding, an area where they produce cheese, quality wines, cereals and many other products. An excellent product and, in our opinion, not yet properly valued, is that particular variety of tomato called “Siccagno“, but also curly or star-shaped tomato.
The “Siccagno” tomato
The Sicilian tomato has many varieties (pachino, picadilly, datterino etc.) and is the basic ingredient of many typical Sicilian products, such as sauces, tomato paste, dried tomatoes, pesto pantesco or Trapani style, fish or meat sauce. However, it often happens nowadays that tomatoes no longer have that intense concentration of nutrients and taste, and all this results in a disappointment for the palate. This happens simply because tomatoes contain too much water, which is used in massive doses for their cultivation. The solution is then represented by tomatoes grown without the use of water, dry: hence the name “Siccagno” (from the Italian word “secco”, dry).
These tomatoes, however, need the right soil and climatic conditions. Here comes to our rescue the area of Corleone, which is the perfect place for the cultivation of this product, thanks to the fertility of the soil, able to bring an adequate level of water and nutrients to everything that is grown there. The Corleone tomato plant is very productive, adapts to various climatic conditions and, not being irrigated, has few fruits, relatively small (100/120g), but very tasty fleshy, of an intense red color.
Tradition at the service of modern food
It is an ancient plant: we know that in 1770 the community of Agrigento offered a lunch to its bishop and among the various dishes there were pork rinds filled with the sauce made of “waterless tomatoes of Corleone“, as the English Patrick Brydone tells us. Recently this plant has been rediscovered by nutritionists around the world and is a recommended food for a healthy and balanced diet, because it does not have many calories, is rich in minerals, trace elements, vitamins and antioxidants. We really love this variety of tomato and we hope that in the future people do not only know the Pachino and Sammarzano (Roma) tomatoes, but also the Siccagno tomato from Corleone.
Since it is an excellent product of the Corleone area, in 2019 the City of Corleone organized the first edition of the “Siccagno Fest”: an event organized in order to promote this product, to start a path that will lead to the request of the IGP and DOP classification. The Siccagno tomato from Corleone is an excellent product and we are sure that in the coming years you will hear more and more about it! Just to be honest, we just bought 2 kg of Siccagno tomatoes from Corleone, we have basil, olive oil, salt…so we are ready to cook our tomato sauce for our pasta at lunch!
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