As August begins to creep into September, families everywhere are preparing for winter by gathering together to partake in a much-loved Italian American tradition… gather the whole famiglia as we take your through the history and how-tos of the art of tomato jarring!
This New World fruit has become the staple of Italian and Italian American cuisine and now with the tomato harvest happening, our team decided to celebrate “la pummarola” by sharing our stories, strategies and science about this beloved tradition.
We explore the history of the tomato, from its origins in the Andes mountains to its arrival in Europe, why Europeans and Colonial Americans originally believed it to be a poisonous plant, and how it beat this unfortunate reputation to become the cornerstone of Italian cuisine!
We’ll then examine the various jarring traditions and methods, whether adding sugar to tomatoes is an honored tradition or a culinary sin, and how we might all be making tomato paste if Napoleon had never invaded Russia.
We’ll also share our own family jarring stories and secrets, and perhaps stumble onto the perfect event to bring everyone back together once social distancing is a thing of the past!
Call it pummarola or pomodoro… “to-may-to” or “tom-ah-to”… or whichever name you prefer, this humble fruit has defined much of our Italian American culture, and this week’s episode will take you deeper than you’ve ever imagined in getting to know the blessing that is the tomato!