Tomatoes can be yellow, orange, purple, stripped, red and green and can vary greatly in size and shape. In the last few years an increasing variety of tomatoes has become available in Australia including heirloom varieties.
Selection and Storage
Select tomatoes depending on when you intend to use them. Choose very ripe tomatoes to use soon after purchase and greener tomatoes for longer storage. Tomatoes should be firm with unmarked skin and no soft spots. Do not refrigerate tomatoes except for cherry or grape tomatoes. Our favourite varieties include grape kumato, russo bruno or black Russian and heirloom varieties.
Tomatoes are available all year round but are best in the summer months.
Different varieties of tomatoes are good for different purposes. Round tomatoes are good sliced or grilled, roma or egg tomatoes are good for slow roasting or sauce making, cherry tomatoes are good raw or can be braised whole for a sauce. Recipes specify skin and seeds to be removed where a sauce is to be made as the seeds are bitter and the skin does not blend into the sauce. To remove the skin use a small sharp knife to make an x incision in the bottom of the tomato, place in boiling water removed from the heat for 30 seconds, remove and remove skin once slightly cooled. To remove seeds halve and scrape out seeds. Tomatoes are good with herbs, cheese, eggs, fish, cream, spices, and shellfish.
Tomatoes are low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They are a good source of Vitamin E , Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.
Cherry tomatoes are a good fresh eating tomato and can also be roasted or gently fried whole to accompany a meal. There a number of varieties of cherry tomatoes, when sold directly on the vine they are particularly delicious. Make a delicious sauce for pasta or meet by sauteeing whole with garlic, onion and oil over low heat until tomatoes collapse, use as is or puree for a finer consistency.
Truss Tomatoes are grown hydroponically, on the vine, in a controlled environment. They are a firm tomato ideal for salads and sandwiches. Sold on the vine in approximate groups of 4 or 5.
An oval tomato with good flavour; ideal for slow roasting or sauces and Italian cooking.
These are the everyday tomato that everybody knows. They are available all year and ideal for eating fresh, grilling and pan frying. When at there peak they are excellent value.
Cherry tomatoes sold on the vine either loose (at certain times of the year) or in packs as Il Bello Rosso. Consistently good throughout the year look especially for loose cherry truss tomatoes.
A sweet cherry tomato sized black Russian variety usually sold in punnets. Colour becomes dark brown red with green stripes when fully ripe. As well as being a striking addition to any dish or salad these tomatoes have a good flavour and texture.
Sold in punnets these yellow/golden grape tomatoes are sweet and low acid. They are a colourful addition to a lunchbox (they don’t squirt!) or a salad or pasta.
There are a number of varieties of Black Russian Tomatoes including Grape Kumatoes a small slightly oval cherry tomato variety as well as larger varieties. These are a consistently good tasting tomato which is best eaten raw.
A mix of small tomatoes of various shapes and colours. Looks very colourful tossed through a salad or in a salsa.
Grape tomatoes are bite-size oval shaped fruits – ideal for lunch boxes & salads. So easy for kids to eat.