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Tomatoes are native to South America and were originally grown for their decorative purposes.
Axar.az reports that the tomato is actually a fruit but is considered a vegetable because of its uses. They were affectionately known as pommes d’amour by the French, or apples of love.
All New Zealand tomatoes are ripened on the vine which makes them tastier than some imported varieties.
There is a large range of specialty and pre-packed tomatoes available. Most tomato varieties are of Dutch origin and are selected for flavor, quality, color and size.
Tomatoes on the vine, or on the truss, are popular. Small, medium and large tomatoes are sold on the truss. There are many different vine varieties; as a general rule vine varieties have a very intense flavor.
These have a sweet intense flavor and are very popular with children. Several different varieties are on the market. Colored red or yellow, the shape varies from round to oval to pear shaped. Small plum tomatoes are particularly sweet and higher in acid.
Plum, low acid and Roma tomatoes
These tomatoes are oval or plum shaped, have firmer flesh, fewer seeds and less juice than standard varieties, making them ideal for cooking. They come in differing shapes and sizes. Levels of acid vary with variety and no tomato is entirely acid free. Large plum varieties are often known as Roma.
These make up a very small percentage (around 1%) of the total tomato crop and tend to be less firm than greenhouse- grown tomatoes. They have a lumpier and flatter shape and tend to be available from January to April.
What to look for
Choose smooth, firm and plump tomatoes with an even color and no blemishes. For best flavor make sure the fruits are fully red.
Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes will ripen in these conditions. Do not refrigerate unless they are over ripe. Refrigerated tomatoes do not have the full flavor of tomatoes stored at room temperature.
How to prepare
Sometimes recipes suggest removal of the skin and seeds of the tomato for a very fine sauce, however this is not necessary for most dishes.
Ways to eat
Tomatoes are very versatile, they can be eaten raw as snacks, in salads and sandwiches. They can be used in soups, pizzas, omelettes, braises, and stews. Tomatoes preserve well and are easily frozen and bottled, made into homemade sauces, chutneys, and dried or sundried. Tomatoes are complemented by many herbs, especially basil.
Boil, braise, barbecue/char grill, microwave, slow roast, stir fry.
2019.01.10 / 17:58