Sliced Tomatoes from Masseria Mirogallo are a typical Lucan specialty. Fresh tomatoes are cut in half by hand and gutted of pulp, but the skins are left on. Unlike many jarred tomatoes meant only for cooking, these can also be used in much the same way as a fresh tomato. Think of it as having a fresh tomato trapped in a jar for use throughout the year when tomatoes are not in season. You can taste the sunshine still in them!
The Belfiore family, owners of Masseria Mirogallo, has been planting these tomatoes from their own heirloom seeds year after year. They are hand-harvested, carefully washed, and quickly blanched. Then, with gentle fingers, they are cut into halves, with great effort being taken not to break them. They are placed in the jar and pasteurized for the least amount of time necessary, to keep as much of the natural flavor of the tomato in the jar. There is nothing else inside the jar but their own juice—no water or salt has been added.
Suggestions for use: Serve with a drizzle of great olive oil, rinsed and dried capers and a few thin slices of raw garlic, plus crusty Italian bread. The famiglia Belfiore loves to serve them raw on top of bread, alone or with anchovies. When you cook with them—making anything from a pasta sauce to a hearty ragù or braising ribs with red wine—the tomatoes have enough texture to withstand a slow braise and you can still taste their sweetness and bright acidity.
- 1.30 LBS