Italian American Tomato Jarring Tradition

This article was a collaboration between Barbara Marcella Z. and Mario Castelli.

1. It's in the roots

Fresh Basil Leaves

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

It's a beautiful tradition dating back to the mid-1800's that has become part of the Italian heritage. Being raised with this culture has not only taught us lessons of those before us but also of hard work and pride that goes into making something; something that can be taken with you into life.

2. Mediterranean diet

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

Italians cook many of their dishes using tomatoes, especially non-coastal regions. Thus, fresh tomato sauce is regularly needed on hand. Italians and other Mediterranean nations prefer to eat a diet rich in vegetables and healthy fat, with moderate protein; a lifestyle thought and proven to reduce odd of heart-attack and other cardiovascular issues and a real staple.

3. Repetition, repetition, repetition

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

The process starts by laying them out covered in blankets to keep warm and fully own up to their potential. The tedious parts are the washing; which isn't once and done, cutting and squeezing out excess water is next. Cooking occurs twice; the cut tomatoes prior to passing and after, which leads to jarring; with the satisfying "click" of heat-sealed tops. Moreover, the jars (depending on how many you make) can last you an entire year.

4. Nothing sweeter than Italian tradition!

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

Tomato sauce that is sold in stores more often times than not is a thick mess of Tomato guts; tasting bitter, and ultimately no natural flavor--plenty of salt and sugar if it's any consolation. Though, the event is bittersweet; "homemade" beats the rest every time!

5. Stories are everywhere!

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

Storytelling. Nothing better than old stories, while cutting, squishing, cooking and filling. The process is part of the magic and makes time melt by; the stories make it an unforgettable experience.

6. Nourishment for mind, body, And soul

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

Tomatoes are in fact a fruit. In which case possesses essential nutrients for your body; containing Vitamins A, C, and K. A cup of tomato sauce also contains up to 6 grams of fiber. What is better than an amazing taste and doing your body some good?

7. There’s more than meets the eye

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

There are so many different varieties of dishes that made with the sauce you prepared for the year. A plate of pasta is one of the mundane and well known, but also pizza, soups, rice, etc. You can get as creative as you'd like!

8. A legacy to be passed on

Barbara Marcella Z. taking part of her family's annual tomato jarring tradition.

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

There are countless things that contribute to the Italian culture, the tomato jarring tradition is merely one that truly embodies the food of Italy. Italians love to use tomato in countless dishes; it'is surely a legacy to be passed onto future generations. Aside from great food, the process is a great metaphor for how it is to hustle, working every muscle in this puzzle we call America. Great life skills!

9. Let's get saucy

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

As mentioned above, once the tomatoes have been cut and cooked, It's time to make a single jar into "the tomato sauce" that is then used for countless recipes. When you're not sure what to cook, simply grab leftover tomato sauce and add it to any recipe. Guaranteed to be delicious!

10. Organically fresh

Photo Credit: La Coltivata (Barbara Marcella Photography)

There are so many things to think about when food shopping today. Are there Pesticides where the food is grown? Additional hormones? Chemicals and preservatives? When you jar your own tomatoes, you see what is added. No harmful ingredients, just hearty, organic red tomatoes and a few fresh herbs.

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