S. lycopersicum L
RISK OF EROSION: High
The only news about this variety are those reported by the farming family where it was found. The elderly farmer, now missing, reported that this tomato variety had always been grown by his family.
Indeterminate plant, medium-large berries, with a characteristic elongated horn shape. Very pulpy tomato, with compact pulp and thin skin, subject to relatively rapid post-harvest perishability. When fully ripe (the optimal time for consumption) it is pulpy.
The Franciscan tomato was found for the first time in 1993 at Mr. Taddei di Tuoro sul Trasimeno during an exploration conducted by the then Institute for Plant Genetic Improvement of the University of Perugia within the project “Safeguarding biodiversity of interest agrarian in the Trasimeno area “in collaboration with the Trasimeno Park, financed by the Province of Perugia. The elderly farmer, now missing, reported that he had cultivated it “always”. His son, who no longer cultivated it, found the seeds in a jar with the name of the tomato, but he never knew what the name referred to. An almost identical variety was later found in Todi by another elderly farmer, who also disappeared, who had grown it for so long that he never knew where he had obtained the seed the first time. Being a type of tomato with an unusual shape, certainly of an old constitution due to the presence of some characters no longer present in modern varieties, it is likely that it was a local variety that traveled to Umbria, or that it was an old variety ” banana type “whose seed was sold or traded throughout Umbria and then there are so few crops left that for now it has only been found in these two locations. In 2004 with the “Sementi Project” financed by the Trasimeno Park, the Franciscan tomato, together with other local varieties found in the area, was put back into cultivation to multiply the seed and test the variety in the field, at a farmer in Cortona. The project gave birth to an interactive CD-ROM publication called “Biodiversity of agricultural interest in the Trasimeno area” (Sordi et al. 2008), where the Franciscan tomato is described as follows: “The variety was found in the municipality of Tuoro sul Trasimeno at Antonio Taddei, son of an elderly farmer who passed away a few years ago. Antonio does not continue the production of the Franciscan tomato nor has it been found in others. Today, the only ones in possession of the variety are the Department of Applied Biology of the University of Studies of Perugia and the Lake Trasimeno Park Authority. ” Also in 2004 this tomato was included in the SCRIGNO project, an analysis project of the Italian tomato germplasm in collaboration between CNR and the DBA of the University of Perugia, in which the material was also subjected to molecular analysis (Mazzuccato et al. 2008) . While the characterization was in progress, an experimental field technician recognized the Franciscan tomato as the nameless type of “ancient” tomato that his uncle, now deceased, grew in Todi. From a first comparison of the fruits, the two tomatoes were almost identical.
TYPICAL PRODUCTION AREA
The variety was found in the Trasimeno Lake District and in the Tuderte in the Province of Perugia. The local scope is extended to the Umbria Region.
The most suitable use is perhaps as a tomato for sauce, given its pulpiness, but it is also excellent as a salad tomato. The taste is very good, tasty if grown in fertile soils, sweet and not very acidic. If excessively irrigated, the flavor is rather watery and the fruit acquires considerable lengths. Excellent to rub on bread because it becomes a sort of cream. The maximum flavor is at the moment of maximum veraison, in which all the fruit is bright red and the green shoulder is barely visible.
Texts taken from “Regional register of autochthonous genetic resources of the Umbria Region”