They’re Bright! They’re Delicious! They’re Tomatoes!
Tomatoes are a summer favorite and why not? Tomatoes make the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches and especially pasta. But, did you know there are several varieties of tomatoes? Do you know how to store them or any special tips to make them easier to use? Let’s take a closer look at tomatoes to find out more about this delicious summer treat.
There are literally hundreds of varieties of tomatoes. Beefsteak, roma, grape, cherry and so many more. However, there is one thing that all cooks agree on. The best flavors come from some of the ugliest tomatoes. These are referred to as heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are varieties that were born years ago and aren’t as common. There are also hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes and where you live in the country will depend on which varieties are available. While heirloom tomatoes aren’t as common in regular grocery stores, you can find many varieties are your local farmer’s market. If you have a green thumb, you can also order seeds or plants from plant companies around the country.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when storing tomatoes is to place them in the refrigerator. This completely deadens the flavor. Many people have memories of munching on cherry tomatoes straight from their grandparents’ garden. Remember how flavorful those tomatoes were? The warm sun played a big part in that excellent flavor. You should store your tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor.
There are so many tips when it comes to tomatoes. In fact, you could write a book on the subject. However, one of the biggest questions people have is how to store tomatoes for later use. The easiest method is to freeze the tomatoes. This is easily done by scoring the bottoms of the tomatoes with an X and dropping them in boiling water for around 30 seconds. Immediately drop the tomatoes in ice water and then peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the pulp and seeds. Place the tomatoes in freezer bags and pop in the freezer until ready to use. You may also want to salt the tomatoes, but that’s up to you.
This is another area that could fill an entire book, but one tasty suggestion that always seems to please is to use cherry tomatoes for an appetizer. Cut the tops from the tomatoes and remove the pulp and seeds. Fill each tomato with onion flavored cream cheese, tuna salad or any other tasty filling and top with chives for decoration.
Tomatoes are one of the best gifts of summer. Whether you’re using a beefsteak or heirloom variety, chances are the tomato will add great flavor to whatever dish you’re preparing.
About the Author: Annabell Kuczkowski loves to cook and incorporates tomatoes into as many dishes as she can. She also loves to sip a nice cup of the oolong tea her husband got her from goldenmoontea.com while she looks for new recipes and blogs about her current creations!