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Borgo Cellano

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  • Borgo Cellano

    From the pretty to the utility tomatoes. Masses of small dark red plums with a little peak at the bottom. Italian cooking tomatoes Borgo Cellano. So easy to skin and condense down for tomato sauce. Grows well in UK. One of the earlier to ripen outdoors. Great cooking tomatoes. Can also be taken in green (if blight makes it necessary) and left to ripen on the windowsill.

    I got them in a seed swap with a gardener in the USA, where they were presumably brought by immigrants from Italy. There is an Italian village called Borgo Celano, Tatiana's tomato base thinks this is the original home of this tomato and that it is a centuries old variety.

    Together with DePinto (which looks slightly different, but also a fab Italian paste tomato) a very worthwhile addition to the garden and pretty much thrives on neglect. The plants are 4-5ft bushes. I grow them without sideshooting and tie the shoots in, but they are indeterminates. The fruits hang for a long time. I had a couple split on picking but not on the plant.

  • #2
    A new one on me, they do look tasty. So good to have early ripening outdoor varieties, they look to have done you proud this year and having good hangtime is a bonus. Is it one you grow each year?


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      No, I tend to grow De Pinto more than Borgo Cellano, mainly because the seeds are that bit rarer, so that there are more fresh seeds to share. But in utility they are so similar, it makes little difference and this year it was definitely time to renew the Borgo seeds. I ended up with 15 plants and have by now so many jars of tomato sauce, more than any other year.

      Borgo Cellanos are also great halved and put in the pan with an egg for breakfast. I cut them in half and freeze cut side up on a tray, then pack once they are frozen. Then it is just a case of taking a few out of the bag chucking them in the pan. By the time the eggs are done, the tomatoes are defrosted and slightly warm. Also a good way of using them.
      Last edited by Galina; 20-09-2015, 13:20.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Mmm that does sound good and not a way I've thought to use tomatoes.

  • #3
    I made this 'discovery' because I am a 'last minute mad dash' sort of person. Oh dear - there's a dish to bring to a party and I have only got one hour. Perfect for a nice rice or pasta salad. Or even a colourful potato salad. Whilst the base ingredient is cooking, I chop up the other ingredients - colourful veg, left over cubed roast (or frozen prawns), celery, red onions, multicolour peppers, just boiled peas etc. The base ingredient and anything hot (like peas) goes into a pretty bowl, then the frozen ingredients, they mutually warm up/cool down. Then the other ingredients and the dressing on top. A quick stir, chopped chives on top, cover and it all cools nicely on the way to the party! Frozen cherry tomatoes are just great for this, especially different colours. They won't be crunchy any more, but look pretty and won't have disintegrated.
    As an extension to this I started freezing half plum tomatoes too. So good as a last minute extra veg for example when deglazing a pan that had fried chops in it. Just throw a few into the hot pan, a bit of water, let it bubble up for a couple of minutes add a bit of cream or greek yoghurt and serve on top of the chops. We don't mind the skins. There are many more uses for these frozen plum tomatoes.