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It’s red, but it’s worth like gold

Written By Sandra on Friday, 12 September 2008 | 11:58

Autumn is knocking at our door, and this colorful fall specter is incomplete without bright red tomato colors.

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum, syn. Lycopersicon lycopersicum) came to Europe from South America (it was in the middle 16th century, after Columbus discovered America). Its’ name - in Italian “Pomodoro” (which means golden apple) - describes the real value of this plant.

Tomatoes have been cultivated through history which resulted with various sorts like little cocktail tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes in various colors from red, to yellow or even pink.

Its’ nutritive and curative value is very big and it’s hard to count all the benefits coming from this vegetable (although, I found some sources with information saying it’s not sure if tomatoes are fruit or vegetable). Plant alone (leafs and stalk) are poison because of solanine, an alkaloid which acts as a natural fungicide and pesticide.

Tomato fruits are rich with vitamin C, vitamin B1, carotene, and it contains certain amounts of iron, copper and manganese. Because of lycopene, tomato has recognized antioxidant and antitumor activity, especially with cases of prostate cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.

Tomatoes are full of alimentary fibers which act very favorably on cholesterol and sugar level, and in latest researches there are statements that these fibers help in preventing colon cancer.

Tomatoes can be prepared in various ways, and one of the best ways (and for me, never boring) is tomato salad. I spent whole summer eating colorful salads based on tomatoes (of course, mixed with other vegetables, mostly from my garden) and it makes me rather sad knowing that this tomato party would soon be over due to autumn fogs and heavy rains.

You can store tomatoes in many ways – froze it (whole fruit, without pealing), so you can easily add it while cooking (tomato skin goes down very easy when you froze it, just like when you boil it). You can cook tomatoes, and given juice is then stored in glass bottles or jars. Great way to preserve tomatoes is drying – cut ripe and healthy tomatoes in half, put them on wooden table, or plate and dry them on sun, for 4 or 5 days (be sure that flies don’t get to your tomatoes, and in the evening you must bring them inside or cover it with cloth to avoid dew). When they are dried, put them in carton boxes, or you can put them in jar, covered with olive oil.

This is an experiment - I tried to dry tomatoes, and for now, it's holding on

Really, there are plenty of possibilities, and it’s up to you in whom way you’ll consume this fantastic, but still very simple to cultivate, plant.

Tomato soup

I learned this simple recipe from my mother. We always prepare this soup for some guests or “travelers” because it acts like a real elixir. Add two tablespoons of sunflower (or olive) oil into pan, and when it heats a bit, pour one teaspoon of flour, mix it, and when it starts to get yellow, add a little bit (less then half teaspoon) of red pepper powder, mix once again and pour 1 liter of water in. Peal 1 garlic clove and one smaller onion, and add in together with about 2 tablespoons of tinned tomatoes (28-30% tomato sauce). Of course, you can add fresh minced tomatoes or fresh tomato juice, but then you don’t need add as much water. When it starts to boil, spice with some pepper in beans, salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can always enrich flavor with fresh celery or parsley leafs or basil. Boil it about half an hour, and few minutes before it’s finished add a little bit of black pepper (in powder), and noodles.

About Sandra


Titania said...

A great post about tomatoes. Who doesn't like them? It is such a great fruit or is it a vegetable?
In Austria (from my mothers side) it is called Paradiser. Sort of like from paradise! The soup recipe handed down from your mother sounds delicious. I love to cook with tomatoes and also like you just tomato salads. Thanks also for all the info.

Sandradb said...

Hi Titania!
Thank you very much for your comment, in Croatia (in continental part where i live) we call tomatoes paradajz - so it has the same root like paradiser. Many words in Croatian language have German (and this means Austrian) roots.

J. C. said...

I enjoyed this Sandra, tomatoes are my favorite as well, and also, a great weakness of mine. This post was very informative and useful. Cheers. (Bok!)

Sandradb said...

Hi J.C.!
I'm glad you like it and thank you a lot for your comment!

HappyMouffetard said...

A very interesting post. Sadly, my tomatoes are still green!

Sandradb said...

Hi happymouffetard and thank you for your comment - you know how it is with tomatoes, they are always crazy about sun. I had problems in the beginning of July,plants were full of fruit, and I think they were to much of them, it was a lot so sin, but until we "clean" them up a little bit, there were no reds in our garden as well.

chaiselongue said...

A great post, full of the flavour of summer. I've always thought the Italian name for them was just right. Yes, it's sad that autumn is bringing the tomato season to an end but if you've preserved them, as we have, you have stored the flavour to last through the winter.

Sandradb said...

Hello chaiselongue!
Thank you for your comment - and I agree with you about preserving, luckily, I succeeded to put some of them to freezing, and I made juice also.

christine said...

love love love tomatoes

Leo (Healthy Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle) said...

Wow, cool blog post about tomatoes!
I love my tomatoes! The yellow cocktail tomatoes can be fun to eat as an alternative... :)

Sandra said...

Hello Christine and Leo!
Welcome and I'm glad you like this post - thank you both for your comments

Brenda Jean said...

What a neat recipe; thanks for sharing that and the tomato tidbits:) I'm still waiting for mine to ripen. I planted late!