Corbara (Cruvàrë in local dialect) is a village in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy.
The municipality is located on the slopes of the Lattari Mountains (Monte Albino), in the Agro nocerino-sarnese, near the Amalfi Coast.
It borders with Angri, Lettere (NA), Sant'Egidio del Monte Albino and Tramonti,
Until its dissolution (2008), it was part of the Mountain Community of the Amalfi Peninsula. Since April 2013 it has been part of the Union of the “Terre d'Agro” municipalities, together with the municipalities of San Marzano sul Sarno and Sant'Egidio del Monte Albino.
The first traces of inhabited date back to the second century BC, perhaps in reference to the temporary dispersion of the inhabitants of Nuceria Alfaterna following the destruction of the city by Hannibal during the second Punic war (216 BC).
Corbara was mentioned for the first time, with the name "Corvara" in 1010 in an act of the Codex diplomaticus Cavensis. 1045 is a second document which mentions a road between Corbara and Tramonti.
Corbara or Corbarino tomato, fresh or processed, is the one that stands out the most for its typical organoleptic and qualitative characteristics. It is a tomato characterized by plants with indeterminate growth and by small berries of a predominantly "pear-shaped" shape, with a marked sweet-sour taste. Different biotypes are assimilated to the Corbarino typology, the selection of which has been handled over the years by the farmers themselves. They, most likely, derive from old preserved varieties, grown in the area. The area of origin of Corbarino is that of the slopes of the Lattari mountains, both on the coastal side (Amalfi coast, Sorrento peninsula) and on the internal side (southern border of the Sarno valley), on those hills it has always been traditionally cultivated.
Up today, Corbarino tomato was grown almost exclusively in hilly areas, without any irrigation aid; the productions were mainly destined for local markets for fresh consumption or for the artisanal production of preserves or as tomatoes for storage, preserved in bunches for winter consumption. The increase in demand, even outside the local or regional context, and a considerable interest on the part of local processors, have led to a development of cultivation also in lowland areas around where the environment with same soil and climate characteristics permits to obtain an higher productions with similar qualities.
The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum, Solanaceae family) is a herbaceous plant, whose centers of origin are mainly represented by the area of central-South America and the southern part of North America, an area today between the countries of Mexico and Peru.
From Mexico and Peru, it was then introduced to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors in the year 1540 when the Spanish Heman Cortes returned to his homeland and brought the specimens, but not as an edible vegetable, but as an ornamental plant, considered even poisonous for the its high content of solanine, a substance considered at that time harmful to humans. In fact, in 1544 the Italian herbalist Pietro Mattinoli classified the tomato plant among the poisonous species.
It arrives in Italy in 1596 but only later, finding favorable climatic conditions in the south of the country, there is a change in its color from the original and characteristic gold color Pomo d’Or, which gave its name to the plant, to the current red, thanks to selections and subsequent grafts.
Campania has historically always been among the areas where the cultivation of tomatoes has become more widespread and therefore constitutes an important reservoir of valuable local indigenous products formed over the years for spontaneous hybridizations and / or mutations and subsequent selections made by the farmers themselves. In fact, in a very restricted area several typical crops can be identified, the result of interactions, spontaneous or mediated, man-environment including the Corbara or Corbarino cherry tomatoes grown in the homonymous municipality.
It is produced in the vineyards, on the sides of the gentle hills of the town.
The climate particularly mitigated by the sea and the dry winds like the sirocco make it an autochthonous ecotype that has only left the borders of its lands for a few years to be destined for a national market, while remaining a niche product.
It is mainly used for typical Neapolitan cuisine, both fresh and preserved.
Its harvest begins in July and lasts until October, in the winter months it can be found in the form of preserves, purée or juice.
From a nutritional point of view it has all the properties of tomatoes in general, rich in vitamin C and lycopene.
What distinguishes it from other tomatoes is the sweet taste and its pear shape for which it is also called flask tomato.
The particular flavor of this cherry tomato and its slightly acrid taste make it an excellent product to be eaten fresh, seasoned in tasty salads or to be processed for making sauces. Excellent if cooked with fish because it is able to absorb the harsh brackish sea keeping it jealously.
The Corbara cherry tomatoes are very sweet patiently collected freshly in locks named “spunzillo”, tied in bunches by means of a thin string which, in addition to keeping them together, allows you to hang them in a dry and shaded area to be able to keep for months until they become a concentrate of aromas and flavors, fundamental ingredient for the dishes of these places. The cherry tomatoes ripen on the sunny terraces and, keeping the iodine flavor, allow to give the tasty fish sauces and soups a unique and inimitable flavor.
Its use is varied from the pasta sauce to the typical Neapolitan sauces, up to the pizza that elected it as guest of honor for its uniqueness of taste and flavour.