How to use the tomato according to Don Alfonso Iaccarino

How to use the tomato according to Don Alfonso Iaccarino

Not all tomatoes are the same, as chef Alfonso Iaccarino, a true lover of this Mediterranean vegetable, explained to us. Find out why.

The tomato is one of the symbols of the Mediterranean and summer kitchen. Fragrant and juicy, it lends itself to many different preparations, typical of our culinary culture. But as there are many recipes based on this vegetable, there are also many different varieties of tomatoes. In order not to get lost between one pummarola and another, we trusted a true lover of this product: the chef Alfonso Iaccarino of the Don Alfonso 1890 restaurant in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi (Na). Iaccarino has been growing tomatoes organically for 30 years and just naming the vegetable, which he defines as ” the healthiest product that exists “, is filled with pride and passion. Thanks to his experience hereall the ways to make the most of tomatoes .

Ox hearts

What is the best tomato ?
“ The one grown in the field, in the open air and in a natural way. The best areas in Italy for this cultivation are Tuscany, Lazio, Calabria and Sicily “.

The varieties are many. For example which is the most suitable for salads?
“ For salads and other cold preparations, such as caprese, the best is the Cuore di bue tomato. Dress it with extra virgin olive oil, which goes perfectly with this vegetable, and accompany it with wholemeal bread “.


For preserves instead?
“ The ideal for preserves is San Marzano. You can use it to make tomato puree, concentrate or fillets to put in jars and store under vacuum “.

And the cherry tomatoes?
“ Pachino or Vesuvian tomatoes can be eaten raw or lightly seared in a pan so that they remain warm and juicy. They can also be baked in the oven, perhaps to accompany a fish dish, but a medium temperature and not prolonged cooking is required. Pay attention to one thing: if they are excessively round and perfect they are not natural “.

Baked tomatoes

Not prolonged cooking, therefore. What do you think of confit tomatoes ?
“ It is a French tradition. There the tomatoes have a thick and hard skin and with this cooking they become more tender, but in my opinion with our products we only risk losing the aroma and flavor “.

Does the tomato go with or without peel?
“ Also in this case it depends on the culture, tradition and techniques used. The tomato grown in Southern Italy has the most tender and digestible skin so it is eaten as it is, while in the North the skin is different and many prefer to discard it “.

What is the secret to choosing a good tomato?
“ I advise you to go to a fruit and vegetable market or to the greengrocer and choose the most fragrant tomatoes. In supermarkets it is difficult to smell perfumes. The same rule applies to fruit “.

Piennolo tomato

And in the winter?
“ In my opinion, every season has its products and if in nature a fruit or vegetable ripens in a certain period it means that our body needs those vitamins, those mineral salts, at that precise moment. In my opinion, the tomato in winter can be tasted in the form of preserves or in Campania there are the so-called pendulum tomatoes, collected in clusters and stored hanging in cool and ventilated places for 7-8 months. With spaghetti with clams they are very good “.

She has been growing tomatoes for decades: can we do it too?
“ Tomatoes are easy to grow. The right environment is enough and there is no need for much else, above all there is no need for fertilizers, pesticides and the like. The natural tomato is the healthiest product that exists and is one of the most important for our health “.

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