Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Italian Connection

Sweet Tomato and I went on a cruise last summer to ports in the countries of Italy, France, Greece and Croatia.  While in the port of Taormina, Sicily, we went shopping at a local farmers’ market for fresh vegetables and fruits.  It was not that the food on the cruise ship was poor (it was in fact ‘over the top’ good), it was just that we wanted to sample local fruits and vegetables at the various ports of call.  Being always on the lookout for different varieties of tomato seeds, I purchased some tomato seeds at this farmers’ market. 

The seeds were Marglobe and San Marzano 2.  I have grown various types of San Marzano for years with good results.  I have never seen or heard of the Marglobe, but it looked pretty, and I am a sucker for good looking tomatoes.  Here is a picture of the seed packet for San Marzano 2, followed by the tomato’s description from the Semiorto Sementi web site (translated from Italian). A big deal is made of regions for tomato growing. This “regional purity” extends to wine, cheese, ham, etc, etc.

From the various ecotypes of S. Marzano widespreadin the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, Semiorto. Theproceeds from this selection has improved uniformityin yield and quality of the product. The reliance by the Ministry of Agriculture of the conservation purityof this variety testifies to the reliability and validity of the variety. The plant is a permanent development, vigorous and rustic, with good foliagethat protects the fruit from the strong insolation. The fruits are elongated, cylindrical-rectangular, weighing 80-90 gr. and very uniform. Thick flesh and firm, with reducedinternal lodges. Varietiessuitable for both the fresh marketand for the industry. Tolerant to Verticillium and Fusarium.

The Marglobe, while pretty, must not have near the history or importance as the San Marzano.  Here is a picture and a very short description again from the Semiorto Sementi web site.
Table tomato, medium early. Vigorous plant with good leaf coverage. Seafood round shape, smooth, large size, excellent consistency and uniformity, intense red color when ripe.
Right now both plants are about 1 to 2 feet in height with thick foliage and looking healthy.  I will keep you abreast of how the plants grow and the tomatoes fare.

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