What are steamed tomatoes used for?

No favorite dish without the tomato

Status: December 21, 2020 12:34 p.m.

Whether pizza, pasta or just plain - many favorite dishes are unthinkable without tomatoes. What types are there? How do I store the healthy vegetables? Product knowledge, tips and recipes.

In Austria they are called Paradeiser, in Germany they used to be called Liebesapfel: The tempting-sounding names for tomatoes promise heavenly enjoyment. Tomatoes come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors. There are several thousand varieties worldwide. They can be as small as a currant or as large as a pumpkin weighing up to a kilo.

What types of tomatoes are there?

Small or large, round or oval, green or red - tomatoes are extremely diverse.

The color spectrum ranges from classic red to yellow, violet and black. There are even striped, marbled, and multi-colored ones. In addition to the classic variant, meat, egg and bottle tomatoes, cherry and vine tomatoes are widespread. Which variety you choose is ultimately a question of taste, the quality of the goods and the time of year. In late summer, many traders at weekly markets offer different varieties that you can try before buying.

Do I have to cut away the green stem base?

Like potatoes, tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. Both contain the natural poison solanine, which when consumed in larger quantities can lead to nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. For this reason, the stem end of the tomato should be cut away.

Green tomatoes: differentiate between unripe fruits and special varieties

Unripe tomatoes also contain solanine and should not be consumed. Even when heated, the substance does not degrade. There are special types of tomatoes, the fruits of which remain green even when fully ripe. They do not contain higher amounts of solanine than red ones. Some of these varieties turn slightly yellow when ripe, while others, such as "Green Zebra", have a slight discoloration of the grain. A pressure test usually helps to find out whether the tomatoes are ripe: when the fruits are soft and give way, they can be eaten.

What is the best way to store tomatoes?

Tomatoes should not be stored next to other vegetables or fruits.

Tomatoes should never be kept in the refrigerator, because then they lose their taste and the meat becomes firm. Temperatures of around twelve to 15 degrees are ideal, then they retain their full aroma. Unripe tomatoes should ideally be wrapped in newspaper in a warm place with their flower base and stems. During the ripening process, tomatoes release the ripening gas ethylene. This plant hormone causes other fruits and vegetables to spoil more quickly. So tomatoes should be kept separately.

Prepare and reduce tomatoes

Tomatoes are suitable for all types of preparation. They taste great raw - cut into slices or cubes - on bread, in salads or classic Italian with mozzarella or burrata and good olive oil. For soup and sauce, they are fried in oil with onions and garlic and braised. Since they contain a lot of water, there is no need to add liquid to sauces. Soups can be lengthened and refined with tomato juice or a dash of cream. If you use fresh tomatoes, you can remove irritating skin and seeds beforehand or you can rub the finished sauce / soup through a sieve or put it in a liquor bottle.

Whole large tomatoes are ideal for filling, for example with rice salad, vegetables or mince. They can either be eaten cold or baked in the oven. Tomatoes from the garden can be preserved by boiling, drying or making chutney.

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and low in calories

Tomatoes consist of 95 percent water and hardly contain any calories. With 13 vitamins, including a particularly large amount of vitamin C, and 17 minerals, they are among the healthiest vegetables. Even when cooked, they still contain valuable contents such as the red dye lycopene, which is supposed to protect against hardening of the arteries, among other things. Heating the tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene even further.

Tomatoes contain many valuable ingredients.

However, commercially available tomatoes are usually harvested green, so the healthy ingredients cannot accumulate to their full extent. The taste of such tomatoes is not particularly pronounced either, they taste watery and bland. Canned tomatoes, on the other hand, are only processed when they are ripe. They are therefore a good alternative to imported goods in winter.

Where does the tomato come from?

South and Central America are considered to be the origin of the tomato. It is not clear when exactly it was used as a crop. The Aztecs and Incas are said to have cultivated the plant thousands of years ago. It probably came to Europe with the seafarers in the 16th century. There they thought it was a poisonous fruit and therefore called it "Lycopersicon", which means something like "wolf peach".

The Italians were the first in Europe to use tomatoes as food. There they are called pomodoro, golden apple - presumably because the first fruits to reach Europe were yellow varieties. It was not until the end of the 19th century that the tomato found widespread use in European cuisine.

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THE! | 11/13/2020 | 6:45 p.m.