Despite their strong association with Italian cooking, tomatoes were originally a New World crop native to Peru and cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as the 8th century. They were not introduced to Europe until the 16th century, when Spanish explorers took them on their return voyages. The Italians first accepted them as edible, though they did not receive widespread acceptance as “food” in Europe and the U.S. until around 1850. Based on the garbage that many restaurants try to pass off as tomatoes currently, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to question whether or not these “tomatoes” are truly food even now. For someone like myself, raised largely on these red balls of water, tomatoes have acquired a negative image. My hope is that our tomatoes–vine-ripened, shipped locally, and grown for their flavor, texture, and personality—will help restore tomatoes to their rightful place as actual food.
- Tomatoes are delicious raw, sautéed, baked, broiled, or grilled.
- To remove skins, sink whole into boiling water for 15-30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and remove the skin.
- Fry or broil slices of tomato topped with thin slices of cheese. Remove from heat when cheese is melted and tomatoes have softened and begin to bubble.
- Hold tomatoes at room temperature for up to 1 week or longer if the ripening process continues. Do not refrigerate.
- Tomatoes that have been sliced or damaged will deteriorate quickly.
- Underripe tomatoes will continue to ripen when stored out of the sun at 60-75 degrees.
Tomatoes can be frozen whole. Core tomatoes, place on a cookie sheet, and freeze. When solid, place in zip-lock freezer bag and replace in freezer. Remove only as many tomatoes as you need at a time. Thawed tomatoes are appropriate only for cooking or purees.
From September 11, 2009 Fox & Fawn Farm Newsletter