The tomato, as we know, has American origins but it was in the province of Parma that it found fertile ground, as early as the second half of the 19th century. And now also a house, its own museum, which is part of the Food Museums circuit, dedicated to the typical products of the Parma area. Reachable in about an hour by car from our farmhouse, the Tomato Museum is housed in the splendid Medieval agricultural courtyard of Giarola in Collecchio.
The Corte di Giarola is an ancient medieval agri-food processing center that stands on the right bank of the Taro river. Seat of a tomato preserve industry in the first half of the twentieth century, today it is also the seat of the Taro Regional River Park. The Court also has an internal church, the church of San Nicomede, with Romanesque and neo-Romanesque forms, inside which are preserved: an Annunciation by a good imitator of Malosso, perhaps Francesco Lucchi, from the early seventeenth century; a Holy Family with Saints Joachim and Anna, from the second half of the eighteenth century; and an antependium in worked and painted leather, from the same period.
The museum traces the historical events of the tomato, illustrating its cultivation and preparation techniques for preserve with the reconstruction of a production line made with 14 vintage machines. Ample space is given to the preparation of tomato preserves, the processing of which, both in home preparation and in industrial production, can be divided into seven phases: sorting and husking, washing, scalding, sieving or squeezing, pasteurization, packaging, conditioning.
The exhibition path is divided into seven sections: the first tells the story; the second illustrates the development of the processing industry in the economic reality of Parma; the third shows the development of production technologies; the fourth deals with the issue of the finished product and packaging; the fifth is dedicated to the development of the mechanical industry; the sixth tells the pioneer entrepreneurs and the different jobs in the factory; and the seventh features advertisements, quotes, paintings, sculptures and tomato-based recipes.
Among the objects on display: a historic filling machine from the “Carlo Migliavacca & Figli” company, vintage cans of preserves, one of the first advertising posters for tomato preserves and a conical-shaped canvas sack used by farmers for threshing tomatoes . At the Ristorante della Corte it is also possible to taste delicious tomato dishes to be paired with typical products of Parma and a selection of wines from the Parma hills.
For more information visit the oficial web site Museo del Pomodoro
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