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Tomatoes 101

Tomatoes 101

Tomatoes are one of the most popular and accessible vegetables around. They are extremely versatile and can be served in both savoury and sweet dishes. There are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes and they have a lot of medicinal properties including the ability to reduce cancer risks, improve cardiovascular health, lessen hypertension, regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation.

This simple tutorial on how to slice tomatoes will help you to become a master on your own!

 

Slicing Tomatoes

  • To slice your tomatoes first cut them in half and remove the green stems. 
  • Then place them skin side up and make slices along the length of the tomato keeping them of the same thickness

 

Dicing Tomatoes

  • First wash and remove any stickers from your tomato.
  • To dice a tomato cut vertical slices and keep them stacked. Now while holding the slices together turn the tomato sideways and cut across the body.
  • You can choose to remove the seeds beforehand or leave them in.

 

Rings

  • Place the tomato on its side and cut slices parallel to the body.

  • Keep making parallel cuts of whatever thickness you like till the stem of the tomato.

 

De-seed

  • Remove the seeds from the tomato by cutting it in half and using a spoon or even your fingers to dig out the pulpy seed portion.
  • An interesting fact is that this seed portion is often called 'caviar'.

 

Grate

  • Many recipes call for grated tomatoes. 
  • Over a bowl, firmly hold a vegetable grater and rub the tomato across the grater in an up and down motion. 
  • Grate until just the skin is left. Do not grate the skin and just discard it. 
  • You can choose to strain the grated pulp before using.

Puree

  • Cut the tomatoes randomly in any shape or size and put them into your mixer grinder. Blend until smooth. 
  • Do not add extra water to blend, tomato has enough of its own. You can either use this fresh tomato puree in your cooking, or freeze it for later use by adding salt, oil & sugar to it. 

 

6 Fun Facts about tomatoes

  • Tomatoes are the fruit of the tomato plant. Because the tomato has seeds and grows from a flowering plant botanically it is classed as a fruit not a vegetable.
  • China is the largest producer of tomatoes, accounting for one quarter of the world's production in 2009. The United States and India are the second and third highest producers respectively.  
  • Pretty much all tomato varieties are red although other colours are possible including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple.
  • There are more than 7500 tomato varieties grown around the world.
  • The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
  • As of 2013, the heaviest tomato according to Guinness World Record weighed 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz) and was grown by G. Graham in 1986, Oklahoma, USA.
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