Since 1899, the Italian family firm of MUTTI in Parma has produced tomato products exclusively. They have been innovators. In 1951, they put the first tomato paste into a tube. Now, in 2021, they packaged the first tomato passata (tomato puree to us) from a mobile plant directly in the tomato field. The result is a splendid, thick, beautifully colored “passata” made in the field “Sul Campo.” But this is not your ordinary tomato puree!
This new product is limited in supply right now, but since it has the hallmarks of a successful idea, there will be more with the 2022 harvest. The “Instafactory” as Mutti calls the new facility, eliminates the time lapse between harvesting the tomatoes and processing them. They can be harvested at optimal ripeness and transformed almost immediately into this fragrant, thick passata. When I was shown the sample bottle, I decided to taste it first just out of the bottle. To my surprise it is was a delicious, very smooth, yet tasty product that reminded me of a local product no longer made in Sacramento. It was very much like the original Sacramento Brand Tomato Juice that used to be made at the Bercut-Richards plant in North Sacramento. The motto of the brand was: “So think it plops.” Just showing it around in the store, we almost finished the 19 ounce bottle. It is delicious as a beverage made with only fresh, ripe tomatoes and Mediterranean sea salt. Using vodka or blanco Tequila, it would make a splendid drink since it is thick enough not to become watery. If you wanted it thinner in consistency, just thin with a bit of water.
Used as a sauce, it can be put on ravioli or pasta without heating it, just putting it into a warmed bowl and adding the freshly drained pasta for the clean, fresh flavor of tomato.
The tomato variety is a new hybrid called ROSSORO, a round tomato, grown in the Parma area, and processed with innovative, all stainless steel equipment. From field to processing to bottling almost simultaneously. There is no oil, just tomato; no spices, just salt and tomato. It takes 2 kilos of fresh tomatoes to make 1 kilo of Passata.
For this first go around we will not have a large stock, but you should at least taste the product. This just may be the new world of tomato.