Summer ingredient: tomato

Summer ingredient: tomato

Tomato is one of the most common ingredients used in the Italian kitchen: a vegetable with superpower.

Tomatoes’ fruit have a brilliant colour. Originally they were yellow (from the Latin pomum aureus). In the English version, tomato is linked to the aztec etymology xitotomate or nahuatl tomatl (from Mexico).
Tomatoes have exciting and aphrodisiac powers and for this reason it was used in potions of ‘500 and ‘600. For a long time, it was considered a poisonous fruit: it was introduced in European dishes in the ‘800 when Vincenzo Corrado signed many recipes made with this fruit in the edition of “Cuoco Galante” in 1819.

Different FACES of tomato

There are many varieties of this fruit in Italy: from pachino to perini, from heirloom tomatoes to torpedino tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are sweet, round and juicy, roma toamtoes are shaped like a pear a forma di pera, sardi tomatoes with leathery peel, and many others. In particular, the most common for salads is Ligurian heirloom tomato, with thin peel and fleshy and aromatic pulp. If it is cut in thick slices and it is dressed with some olive oil and basil, it is called the “vegetarians’ steak”. It is cultivated in different areas of the peninsula, even if the most valuable specie is Albenga.
Pachino cherry tomato Igp, instead, is characterised  by the shape of a cherry and a beautiful red colour. If they are mature, they have a brilliant red colour. If they are mature they have a superior quantity of lycopene. It is cultivated above all in Sicily.

Superpower of Mr. Tomato

They are part of Solanacee group, and they are useful for the health of a person because they give an extra benefit to people that eat them. Tomato has vitamine C, potassium, lycopene, one of the most important antioxidants. Its juicy pulp is rich of vitamines and liquids that are appropriate to hydrate people when it is hot. Did you know that red colour of tomatoes is due to the lycopene and it is linked to the blood energy and so with the vitality of all the body? Tomato give us blood clean energy.
Did you know that what makes tomatoes antioxidant and antiage bombs is the high concentration of lycopene? This vitamin increases concentration: so, to remedy ageing you can use tomato sauce. Raw version , when it is dressed with olive oil and a bit of salt. When it is cooked it is appropriate s an antiage. The most important thing is that it must be fresh and seasonal.

ADVICE for the USE
To understand if a tomato is fresh you should look at the stem – if it is green it means that the fruit has been collected recently. If instead, it is dry it has travelled too much in the box. Leave them outside the fridge, they will end their maturation. Eat them with their taste: you can use them to make many recipes.

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