The Dinette Teller – 30. The Golden Apple: Everything about Tomato

The tomato is a popular vegetable, which figures in the cuisine of many countries around the world. It is one of the symbols of the Italian cooking since it is prominent in this country.

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Tomato, a symbol of Italy!

HISTORY

Europeans didn’t know the existence of until Spanish explorers brought it from the Americas. Tomatoes originated in the highlands of Peru. From there, it eventually expanded to Mexico, where the Aztecs cultivated it.

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Aztec tomatoes fields

The Aztec tomato was small and yellow and they call it “ The golden apple”.

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The “Golden Apple”

To tell the truth, scientifically speaking tomato are fruits but used as a vegetable for cooking.

To learn everything about the history of tomatoes, read our article “The History of Tomato”!

GROWING TOMATOES

The plant of tomatoes is part of the Solanaceae family (Solanum Lycopersicum). The plant can reach 2 meters of high. The soil has to be fresh and wet. Ripening of the fruit requires a temperature between 22 and 25°C.

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Gathering tomatoes

 

VARIETIES

The most common varieties are:

 

  • Costoluti, characterised by an irregular surface.

“Costoluti” tomatoes

Round species, which are very smooth.

“Round” tomatoes

Allungati with a peculiar elongated shape.

“Allungati” tomatoes

HEALTH BENEFITS

The properties of tomatoes are at their peak both when raw and cooked!

Have a look at some of the positive aspects of this fresh and healthy vegetable:

  • Low in calories: only 19 per 100 grammes!
  • 2,8% of carbs, constituted by fructose and galactose: these sugars are rapidly metabolised and energy is immediately available.
  • It eases the digestion of carbs, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, thanks to the great amount of malic and lactic acids.

Good for the digestion

  • Protective action against inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and gout.
  • A large amount of water (94%) and mineral salts: Potassium, Phosphorus and Calcium, Sulfur.
  • Trace elements: Iron, Zinc, Selenium.
  • Rich in fibre, which is mostly in the skin and the seeds of tomatoes.
  • Loaded with vitamins: vitamin C, A B and beta-carotene.

LYCOPENE

The lycopene is one of the few elements which are preserved even when cooking tomatoes allowing the tomatoes to be easy to digest.

Lycopene is an important antioxidant. It gives the red colour to the tomatoes and safe guard ageing cells. Lycopene cannot be produced by the organism so consuming 100g of tomatoes three times per week you can cover the required dose of this element.

The International Journal of Cancer recently published two types of research to confirm that the antixodiant effect of tomatoes is strengthen when cooking.

“Regularly eating tomato sauce means decreasing in a considerable way the risk of digestive system and prostate cancer.”

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE TOMATO SAUCE!

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Tomatoes everywhere!

Are you searching for high quality and traditional Italian tomato sauce?

The authenticity and passion that goes into the production of these goodies is a key for a unique flavour experience!

For instance, to try the real taste of Italian cuisine and to boost your immune system try the Country Basil Sauce with a fresh touch of basil and onion. Instead, if you prefer spicy food you are going to love the “Arrabbiata Sauce” (not too hot… but just right!)

In contrast, this is a recipe that has evolved from a famous Italian “Spaghetti, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino” but adding sun-dried tomatoes:  “Pronto-Ready Spaghetti. Definitely, my favourite sauce for Spaghetti & Prawns!

And if you are looking for a typical treat from Puglia, have a look to the Ricotta Forte Cheese Pasta Sauce …only for discerning palates!

Enjoy and let me know what you think! 🙂

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