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The 5 Most Important Parts of Tomatoes You Need to Know

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Tomatoes are real all-rounders in the kitchen. They can be combined with many dishes. The delicious red fruits are available all year round and can be used in so many different ways.

Table Of Contents

Tomatoes are fruits (nightshade family), the size, shape and color of which vary greatly depending on the variety.

Ripe tomatoes do not necessarily have to be bright red. There are also tomato varieties that are ripe when they are yellow, purple, black or dark orange in color.

There are over 1,000 different tomato varieties worldwide – the best known and most important are:

  • Bush or vine tomatoes
  • Salad tomatoes
  • Cocktail tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beefsteak tomatoes
  • Stick tomatoes
  • And many more.
Tomatoes
Tomatoes

Origin

Tomatoes were already cultivated in Aztec times – the Spaniards finally brought them to mainland Europe in the 16th century. The most important growing countries worldwide are China, the USA, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and India. In Europe, Italy, Spain and Greece are at the top of the most important tomato producers.

Season

Tomatoes can be bought in Austria all year round. Domestic production supplies the market from May to October. However, there are also imports from European growing countries throughout the year.

Tip: The smaller specimens of a variety should always be preferred, because they often have a stronger aroma.

Taste

Tomatoes have a strong, fruity aroma. Sweet and sour components combine to create a perfect symbiosis of taste.

Use in the kitchen

Tomatoes are first washed properly and freed from all green. Green areas on the pulp contain solanine, which is poisonous.

Info: If you don’t want the tomato skin in your dish, you can peel the tomato. To do this, it is cut in a cross shape and then briefly scalded with boiling water (= blanched). Then the skin can easily be removed.

The cores can, but need not, are removed. They are only lightly connected to the pulp and can therefore be easily squeezed out. The tomato can then be processed further.

Tomatoes taste particularly good in combination with spices such as:

  • thyme
  • oregano
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • sage

When mashed, it can be used, for example, as a basis for delicious soups and sauces. It can be filled, made into puree or consumed as a raw vegetable or salad.

Tip: Tomatoes can also be dried and then soaked in olive oil with herbs or spices.

Storage / shelf life

Tomatoes can still be harvested green. They then ripen slowly when stored at a temperature of 10 to 12 degrees and can be kept for a long time.

Already ripe tomatoes keep at room temperature and stored in the dark for about 4-6 days. If they are stored in the refrigerator, they will last for about this period of time, but lose their aroma in the process.

Tip: tomatoes should always be stored alone, as they emit ethylene, which accelerates the ripening of other types of fruit and vegetables.

Green Tomato
Green Tomato

Nutritional value / active ingredients

Tomatoes are 93 percent water and have just 17 calories per 100 grams. They are high in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, sodium, and iron.

Info: The green parts of the tomato are poisonous due to the solanine [1] it contains. If they are consumed anyway, this can lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Tomato is also said to be able to prevent cancer. The juice of the tomato dehydrates the body and can lower blood pressure. Tomato also calms the nerves and stimulates the appetite.

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