Cuori di Bue, or beef tomatoes, are quite large in size and can weigh more than a pound. They are almost seedless, with the thinnest skin and the tastiest flesh. With a good balance between sweet and sour, they can be eaten raw as well as cooked in a sauce or a soup. Because of its irregular shape, production variability, short shelf life, and poor transport endurance, beef tomatoes are not as well distributed as other varieties. To this day, beef tomatoes are mostly home-grown for self consumption.
The Ligurian beef tomato
The Ligurian beef tomato is pear-shaped and ribbed. Its skin is smooth and its colour varies from pinkish to orangey red, with streaks of light green in correspondence of the ribs. The pinkish-red flesh is firm and sweet. The seeds are scarce and so is the juice. The fruit production is irregular. However, the Ligurian beef tomato has become quite popular, under the names of Costoluto and Albenga tomato. The spring harvest occurs from March to July. The autumn harvest is carried out from September to December. There can also be a mid-season harvest from June to September.
A Consortium for the popularisation of Liguria’s typical products
Thanks to its popularity, the Ligurian beef tomato has crossed the regional borders, while preserving the same characteristics. The Albenga Beef Tomato can be found on the market under the label Quality Liguria and is protected by the Consortium for the Popularisation of Liguria’s Typical Products.