Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

tomatofreak's Profile

Title Last Reply

Smoked Tomatoes?

Happy to come across this thread and see that it has been revitalized as I too have been searching for information about this subject! My mother in law told me about this a few weeks ago and I did not believe her at all until I watched the video. I will learn how to do this if it kills me!!!! I did the standard web research and didn't find out much more than what has already been discussed. I am in agreement that the most obvious choice would be the Principe Borghese, but there are obviously others that would work. As for the smoking, it seems that the process is to smoke them very lightly, the reason being that the smoke is supposed to kill the bacteria on the surface of the tomato which is responsible for spoiling them, but not to really dehydrate them in any way. I am sure this does add a nice flavor, though. I know a man from Naples, who happens to own a restaurant in the paza in which I work, so I asked him about this. He scoffed at the notion of smoking, and said that his mother and grandmother used to hang them all the time when he was a boy growing up in Naples. I asked him if they used Principe Borghese, but it seems he had never heard of this variety, I think because he never had to search this out as we have been doing. He told me the name of the tomato was "cannellini". I thought I had misunderstood and because of the quizical look on my face he added, "you know, like the bean". He said you can't find them in this country, he gets his from Italy as he still has a house there and visits several times a year. I couldn't even find them on the internet! But he confirmed that they are indeed smaller than a plum, but larger than a cherry. He said he was growing them out back (behind the restaurant)!!! He said that you are supossed to pull up the whole tomato plant and twist the vines to make the pendula, and hang it somewhere with good circulation, not too close together where it tends to be cool and dark. I think there must be something to leaving them on the vines which also keeps them from rotting. I also need to clarify if any green tomatoes still on the vine go on to ripen, as I cant imagine waiting until they are all red. I believed the objective was just to pull the plant prior to the first frost, thereby salvaging what was left on the vine. It didn't look like the pendula in the Tyler Florence episode were on the vine, though, so I have to go back and look at that again, and question him about the exact method of "twisting" the vines. I am going to try to attach a link to a picture of a few of these tomatoes he gave me to try just this morning. They still need to ripen a little. I included the styrofoam cup in the picture to show proportion.

Aug 29, 2012
tomatofreak in General Topics