A Melbourne tomato tradition with workshops, demos and a farmers' market.

The ripe, soft and sweet festival that encourages you to fill your pantry with homemade pasta sauces is back for another year.

Summer-grown tomatoes will be bursting with flavour and on show at the 2017 Melbourne Tomato Festival. An array of local farmers will be selling their produce, and a variety of speakers, cooking demonstrations, workshops and agriculturists will also feature on the day. After a year in Eltham, the festival has moved back closer to the CBD and will set-up at All Nations Park in Northcote on Sunday, March 19.

The process of passata making is the highlight of the event — this year there will be 14 passata stations. It's closely followed by gnocchi-making workshops, grape-stomping sessions and demos from chefs like Frank Camorra, Matt Stone, Colin Fassnidge and Guy Grossi.

Although tomatoes are not strictly native to Italy, their rich, chunky texture is famously embraced in Italian culture and cuisine. So it makes sense that this festival, which is strongly supported by Melbourne's Italian community, falls on Italian National Day.

Published on March 13, 2017 by Shannon McKeogh

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