Other names: Xitomatl in nahuatl (aztecs), Tomatoes
Translations: Tomātu, Pomidoras, Tomată, Rajčica, Cà chua, Pomidor, Tomaat, टमाटर, Tomate, Помидор, Ντομάτα, طماطم, 토마토, Rajče, Парадајз, Kamatis, 西红柿, Tomàquet, Paradižnika, Paradajka, Pomodoro, עגבניה, Tomat, Tomat, トマト, Tomate, Tomate, Tomat, Tomat, Tomate, Помідор, Tomaatti, Домат
Tomatoes can be heart or egg shaped, they can be round or oblong. Depending on the variety, the color and flavor can vary from sweet to tart and from bright green to brilliant red.
Colors: purple, yellow, red, green, orange
Flavors: Mild, acidic, fresh, earthy
Mouthfeel: Mushy, Tart
Food complements: Basil, Cheese, Beef, Garlic, Onions, Olive oil, Salt
Wine complements: Red wine, Cabernet savignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, White wine
Beverage complements: Milk, Tea, Beer
Substitutes: Canned tomato, Sundried tomato, Roasted tomato
Selecting and Buying
Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: july, august, september
Choosing: Choosing tomato is a little bit tricky. First of all, tomatoes comes in group, not individually wrapped so you have to pick them one by one. Look for a heavy tomato with smooth skin. Do not pick those with soft spot for those are signs of rotting. Do not pick ones with holes because it means that worms got faster than you. Try also using your sense of smell before anything else. Fresh, ripe tomatoes smells sweet and good. If you smell a foul odor on a certain tomato, remove it away at once.
Buying: You can buy tomatoes from your nearest grocery store, a farmer's market or your local market.
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Preparation and Use
Tomatoes can be simply sliced and eaten. They can be cooked down into a paste or sauce. They can be chopped and added to salsa, roasted or broiled and pureed.
Cleaning: Clean fresh tomato with running water. Do not apply soap for it may leave residue that can stay on the surface of the skin.
Conserving and Storing
Determine whether tomatoes are fully ripe. A ripe tomato is dark red or orange, is slightly soft, has a uniform skin color and smells like a tomato.
Put unripe tomatoes in a brown paper bag and leave them at room temperature until they ripen, usually in a day or two.
Store ripe tomatoes in a cool place - around 55 degrees F. Stored this way, they should keep for five days. Avoid refrigerating tomatoes.
Store cut tomatoes in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible.
After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 1600s in Spain. The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources. However, in certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century.
History: The tomato is native to South. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru. One species, Solanum lycopersicum, was transported to Mexico where it was grown and consumed by Mesoamerican civilizations. The exact date of domestication is not known. The first domesticated tomato may have been a little yellow fruit, similar in size to a cherry tomato, grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico. Aztec writings mention tomatoes were prepared with peppers, corn and salt. The word tomato comes from the Aztec [Nahuatl] tomatl, literally "the swelling fruit".
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