“We mainly grow and purchase red Pomodorino del Piennolo DOP as well as a yellow variety, which though cannot bear the PDO mark. In 2015, my siblings and I decided to set up a processing laboratory as an evolution of the family businesses. I left my job to focus on this and started to produce for gourmet pizza restaurants and high-end restaurants," reports Giannina Manfellotto, owner of TerraViva, the family business founded by her grandfather Raffaele and now managed by Giannina with her parents and siblings Raffaele and Anna.
TerraViva is located within the Vesuvius National Park. It is made up of 45 hectares in total and is located at the foothills of Mount Somma, the volcano's ancient crater. The crops find themselves in the land of the the Olivella springs as well as of the Chiatanelle springs. Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP is a fruit that, on top of deriving from a genetic peculiarity, is the result of a strict production specification.
“The cherry tomato campaign is looking excellent due to the scarce rain and prolonged drought which, while limiting yields, improved quality. They are very popular with consumers, who understand the difference in flavor between industry tomatoes and fruits that tell the history and biodiversity of the territory. In June, we also processed various volumes of apricot jams as, due to the high temperatures, the fruits ripened at the same time."
When it comes to apricots, TerraViva makes jams from an ancient variety - Pellecchiella - the 'queen' of apricots that boasts centuries of history and varietal selection made by local producers to obtain the best from one of the most profitable resources of the territory.
Pellecchiella apricot jam is available in 220 gr jars and is very popular. It is made artisanally without using additives, colorings and synthetic aromas. It is a niche product excellent for breakfast, in snacks or to make tarts and biscuits.
"We also process semi-dry Piennolo tomatoes, which we dry in the sun for six hours in order to preserve their fresh tomato flavor. Then, between October and mid-winter, we process friarielli in oil (not in vinegar), simply steam blanched. They are placed in 1 kg glass jars with extra virgin olive oil destined to restaurants and specialized stores. The tips where the leaves are more tender are seasoned with oil, garlic and chili pepper. While they used to be eaten only in Campania, friarielli have now become popular abroad as well."
TerraViva commercializes its products in niche H&R channels. Around 30% of the turnover is made abroad in Germany, France and the US where, thanks to the work of Neapolitan pizza-makers, these products are used to make gourmet pizzas.