- KNOW YOUR VEG
difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while
eating a homegrown tomato.."
~ Lewis Grizzard, American Comedian
tomato plant was first grown in England towards the
end of the Sixteenth century and, even though the
tomato was eaten in both Spain and Italy, it was regarded
as poisonous and therefore only used as a herbal remedy.
It was not until the middle of the Eighteenth century
that tomatoes became widely eaten in Britain, being
used in soups, broths and as a garnish. By Victorian
times, cultivation reached industrial scale to cope
with demand for this ever popular vegetable.
in colour from vivid cherry red to bright yellow,
in flavour from sweet and juicy to tangy and in size
from tiny cherry varieties to plump beefsteak tomatoes,
they are a versatile and popular ingredient. All types
are now often sold on the vine as well. When buying,
choose firm tomatoes with a bright unflawed skin,
they should have a subtly sweet aroma.
Varieties of tomatoes widely available include:
largest of the tomato varieties, these have a
sweet dense red flesh. Ideal for stuffing, slicing
or cooking with.
are packed with flavour and mature further and
keep better on the vine. With a distinctive tomato
aroma they are delicious in salads or try them
roasted on the vine.
are much smaller than other tomato varieties and
have a very intense sweet flavour. Delicious as
a lunchbox snack, in salads or roasted.
Tomatoes on the Vine
small cherry tomato with a more intense flavour
and aroma. Try roasting them on the vine or on
much more delicate flavour than the traditional
cherry, very juicy and a lovely orange colour
which looks great in salads or as a garnish.
most intensely sweet flavour and juicy flesh,
with an elongated shape and deep colour. Ideal
for salads or cooking they also make a great snack.
plum tomatoes which have a sweet-sour flavour,
they have a distinctive oval shape and have a
very high flesh/seed ratio which makes them great
for most cooking methods, from casseroles to barbecues.
egg-shaped tomatoes have a meaty flesh and concentrated
flavour, which makes them especially well-suited
to cooking. They are available in various sizes
including baby. Plum tomatoes are the most popular
variety for canning.
How To Use
are served raw and cooked. Raw tomatoes are used in
salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches and as a garnish
for a wide variety of savoury dishes. Tomatoes are
used widely in cooking and can be included in sauces,
soups, stews, pies, quiches, pizzas, chutneys and
pickles. Larger varieties of tomato can also be stuffed
and baked. Skinned or seeded tomatoes are often used
in cooking. Many fresh herbs go well with tomatoes
but basil is the most popular choice. Garlic is also
often included in tomato dishes.
How To Prepare
tomatoes thoroughly. For salads, remove the stalk
and slice or cut into quarters. To remove the skin,
cut a cross in the skin of each tomato using a small,
sharp knife. Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl
and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds
-1 minute and drain. Pull away the skin using your
fingers. To remove the seeds, cut the tomatoes in
half and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Cut
the tomatoes into quarters and remove any remaining
seeds by scraping them out with a small, sharp knife.
If stuffing larger tomatoes, slice off the top of
the tomato and scoop out the flesh and seeds using
a teaspoon, stuff with your chosen filling and replace
How To Cook
can be baked, fried or grilled.
bake, preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place
whole cherry tomatoes or tomato wedges in a roasting
tin, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with
salt and pepper and chopped garlic if desired, bake
for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender.
fry tomatoes, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan
and fry halved tomatoes for 3 - 6 minutes or until
grill, preheat the grill to high and cook halved tomatoes
for 4 - 5 minutes.
How To Store
dislike the cold and storing at room temperature maximises
their flavour. Keep in a cool dry place away from
sources of heat or sunlight.
information and images for this article have come
It provides full information on all the main vegetables
available on the UK market including nutritional information
and delicious recipes. The site is a service provided
by Mack Vegetables, one of the largest and most successful
suppliers of fresh vegetables in the UK, serving a
wide range of customers from caterers to major multiples.
You can find out more about Mack by visiting the website