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Helena Husinec

Cour di Bue Albenga

The Cuor di Bue, or "ox heart," variety of tomato grown in the Ligurian coast town of Albenga, Italy, has caught our attention. Unlike the slim Roma or San Marzano tomatoes commonly used for sauces and roasting in southern Italy, these tomatoes from the north have a distinct shape. They are large, pleated teardrops weighing between 10 and 16 ounces, with meaty centers and narrow seed cavities along the margins.

In our experience, these northern tomatoes fare well in cooler region and develop exceptional flavors during our cool growing season.

While they can be enjoyed raw by slicing them, the true potential of this variety lies in roasting, which enhances its savory richness of flavor. In the field, the tomato vines are robust and vigorous, exhibiting a uniform growth habit that makes them suitable for two leader pruning. We noticed that the Albenga tomatoes exhibited better resistance against cracking and blossom end rot compared to other oxheart varieties we have grown. The fruit set is good, and they tend to be harvested during the mid-late season. The Albenga tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning they can keep growing and producing fruit throughout the season.