TOMATO, BEEF

Beef tomatoes are large and pumpkin-shaped, with a deep orange-red colour. They have thick flesh and a firm texture.

This fascinating member of the deadly nightshade family is delightfully delicious and versatile. It was probably first domesticated by the Mexicans. The earliest European records of tomatoes date back to 1544. To begin with, this fruity vegetable was thought, by Europeans, to be a little suspect. When Columbus brought them back from the Americas with him, people thought they were poisonous. Apart from the most common red varieties, tomatoes occur naturally in many colours including white, brown-black, pink, purple, orange and green (often with stripes). And they come in all shapes and sizes. Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant, which reduces the risk of cancer. The riper the tomato, the higher the level of lycopene.

TOMATO, BEEF are classed as a fruit.

Tips

Beef tomatoes are perfect for stuffing.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 31 kcal, 129 kJ; protein 0.5g; carbohydrate 7.2g; fat 0.4g.

Preparation

Wipe tomatoes with damp kitchen paper. For salads, remove the stalk and slice or cut into quarters. If stuffing, slice off the top of the tomato and scoop out the flesh and seeds using a teaspoon, stuff with chosen filling and replace lid. No need to peel.

Storage

Tomatoes that are slightly green should colour up if left in a warm place, preferably in the sun, for a couple of days. Never store tomatoes in a refrigerator - it kills the flavour.

Choosing

Select firm tomatoes with a bright unblemished skin. They should have a subtle, spicy-sweet aroma. Avoid tomatoes that are soft, lacking in colour or have split. Make sure they are fully ripe before eating - they must turn from green to red.

Fun Fact

Tomatoes gain weight as they ripen - even after being picked.

Availability

Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.

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Spain