Tomatoes are tremendously important to very, many people. Many merchants know this and use the almighty
tomato as a loss-leader. And, in recent years, there’s a wide variety of size, and juiciness, to consider in most tomato displays.
Tomatoes appear to have originated in western South America but were not consumed as food until they found their way All 7,500 varieties of tomatoes belong to the nightshades plant family, along with potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne. Early thinking in some sectors saw tomatoes as poisonous, so their consumption was delayed until this was proven not to be true.
Glorious tomatoes can be red, pink, purple, brown, yellow, orange/tangerine, green, or black, in more and more newly-tweaked sizes and shapes! Heirloom, those “Cabbage Patch-shaped,” large, tomatoes are prized for their seed heritage protected by careful tomato cultivars. If you crave a tomato with old-fashioned flavor, go for a big heirloom!
The Campbell Soup Company mass-produced the first canned tomato soup in the late 1800s, and the first tomato recipe, Tomato Chowder, is credited to Maria Parloa back in 1872. As much as we credit tomato dishes to Italy, they never reached there from South American and Mexico until the mid 1500s. Today, China produces the largest amount of the 130 million tons we consume each year. The U.S., Turkey, India and Italy produce the remainder.
Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A and C and are naturally low in calories. They are also an excellent source of lycopene,
Choose tomatoes which are rich in color, perfectly-shaped, with no skin imperfections and no bruise spots.
Store ripe tomatoes, stem-side-down, unwashed, at room temperature away from any sun. Ripen under-ripe tomatoes in a paper bag.
Below is a list of tomato shapes and names:
- Current, tiniest
- Grape, oblong and grape-sized
- Cherry, about an inch in diameter
- Pear, pear-shaped, size of cherry tomato.
- Plum/Paste, medium, ovals
- Slicing/Globe, most popular, round, medium-sized
- Beefsteak, largest of all, can be over 2 pounds.
- Capresse salad
- Fried green
- Stir fry
- Vegetable salad
Below are foodsites with tomato recipes: