Pulp, Passata and Related Products


Tomato sauce is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic ingredients of Italian cuisine, but its history actually has its roots in much older cultures and traditions. This condiment, which today represents the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, has a past linked to both Arab and Italian traditions.

The history of tomato sauce: Arab and Italian traditions

The origins of the tomato: the red gold imported from the Americas

Before the discovery of America, the tomato was unknown to the Old Continent: it was the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s who brought this red and succulent fruit to Europe. Although many immediately will associate the tomato with Italian cuisine, the first people to use it in cooking were the Aztecs, preparing dishes that resembled gazpacho, the famous Spanish cold soup.

After the tomato was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, it took centuries for it to become a common ingredient in Italian cuisines. Initially, tomatoes were often grown as ornamental plants and were believed to be poisonous. It wasn’t until the 18th century that they began to be used in cooking in southern Italy, where the climate was ideal for their cultivation.

The combination of ripe and fresh tomatoes with homemade pasta has given life to spaghetti with tomato sauce, a simple but delicious dish, capable of conquering palates all over the world..

When did the tomato start spreading in the Arab world?

A period in which the tomato found particularly fertile soil in the Middle East occurred thanks to John Barker, British consul in Aleppo between 1799 and 1825. Barker introduced the tomato to the local crops, and within a few decades, both tomato sauce and the tomato itself - in all its forms - became an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine.

In fact, it was eaten fresh in salads such as Arabic salad and Turkish salad, grilled with kebabs, or made into sauces. Although Middle Eastern cuisine already had a wide range of acidic ingredients such as vinegar, tamarind, and citrus fruits, the tomato quickly became a nutritious and tasty substitute that was inexpensive and readily available.

The Arab Middle Ages: an explosion of civilisation and culture

To really understand the importance of the tomato in the Arab context, we have to go back in time, to the medieval period. The Arab world at this time was experiencing an explosion of civilisation and culture, especially in the culinary arts.

“Medieval Arab Cookery”, a book written by Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry and Charles Perry, offers the entire world an in-depth look at the Arabic cuisine of that period. This academic text, in fact, reveals how many medieval Arabic recipes are still relevant to today’s cooking, showing a direct link between the ancient and current culinary traditions.

Unlike in Europe, where courtly banquets were more focused on social interaction, Arab nobles commissioned cookbooks to replicate recipes savoured at other courts. This passion for gastronomy was so deep-rooted that Arabic cookbooks were written centuries before the first European cookbooks were: the former, in fact, date back to the years before 800 AD, while the latter did not appear until the thirteenth century.

Pomì: Italian tomato sauce exported the world over

Pomì is an Italian brand recognised for its excellence in tomato production. Born in the fertile lands of the Po Valley, Pomì has been able to enhance the typically Italian agricultural tradition, combining it with innovative and sustainable techniques to guarantee a high quality product.

The passion and attention to every detail, from sowing to harvesting, have made Pomì tomatoes a favourite choice for both professional chefs and lovers of good food from all over the world. In fact, Pomì’s success is not limited to the Italian borders: its unique and genuine taste, tasty and rich in nutrients, crosses oceans and borders every single day, bringing the flavour of Italian tomatoes to tables all over the world.

The secrets of Italian cuisine: when should tomato sauce be used? When should the concentrate be used instead?

To give life to the goodness of typical Italian recipes, it is necessary to distinguish wisely, and choose the right tomato sauce for each dish. In Italy, tomato paste is an essential ingredient for intensifying the flavour of dishes: it in fact gives depth and richness to sauces and condiments, making them irresistibly tasty. It is used exclusively when cooking for many people, and it therefore becomes necessary to give a stronger flavour to the recipe, adding it to tomato purée to strengthen its taste.

When preparing first courses with the family, on the other hand, tomato purée is used. In fact, this is an ideal ingredient for dishes that require a smooth and uniform taste. Essential for sauces, soups and other preparations, it offers a silky and velvety tomato base, with a unique and unmistakable taste.

Lastly, Pomì diced tomatoes are perfect for fish dishes, thanks to their freshness and balanced level of acidity. Whether it’s a tomato sauce with prawns and courgettes, or a Mediterranean-style fish soup, diced cherry tomatoes enrich the dish by enhancing, with their exquisite texture, the taste of the fish.

Let yourself be inspired by the tasty recipes recommended by Pomì!



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