The Santorini tomatoes are unique products of the island’s climate and geology. Their flavor and texture come from a combination of the local soil, brimming with nutrients from millennia-old volcanic ash. Like many crops on the dry island, they pull all the moisture they need from the morning mist and require no irrigation. Tall, indeterminate, regular leaf plants produce 1-2 oz., small flattened, oblate, slightly ribbed, bright-red fruits with very good, slightly-acidic flavors. The resulting tomatoes weigh 15–27 grams and the fruits generally ripen in 80–90 days. Santorini tomatoes are harvested throughout June and July. The variety of tomato began to be regularly cultivated in 1875. By the 1900s, 20,000 acres of tomatoes were regularly being harvested in Santorini.
This is a very good canning or market tomato. The tomatoes' sweet, brightly acidic flavor make for especially delicious tomato paste. Even though the industry declined, partly due to the tourism growth, its heyday has been immortalized by the Tomato Industrial Museum, housed in a former tomato paste factory. Pelte remains a Santorini staple. The Santorini tomato has been protected with an official designation of origin since June 13th 2013.