There are countless varieties of tomatoes,
ranging from the huge beef tomatoes that measure 10cm across, to tiny
cherry tomatoes, not much bigger than a thumb nail. They come in all
shapes too - elongated, plum-shaped or slightly square and even
Beefsteak Tomatoes : Large, ridged
and deep red or orange in color, these have a good flavor so are good in
Canned Tomatoes : Keep a store of
canned tomatoes, especially in the winter when fresh ones tend to taste
insipid. Tomatoes are one of the few vegetables that take well to
canning, but steer clear of any that are flavored with garlic or herbs.
It is far better to add flavoring yourself.
Cherry Tomatoes : These small, dainty
tomatoes were once the prized treasures of gardeners but are now widely
available. Although more expensive than round tomatoes, they have a
delightful sweet flavor and are worth paying the extra money for serving
in salads or for cooking whole.
Plum Tomatoes : Richly flavored with
fewer seeds than regular tomatoes, these Italian-grown tomatoes are
usually recommended for cooking, although they can be used in salads.
Round or Salad Tomatoes : These are
the common tomatoes found in greengrocers and supermarkets. They vary in
size according to the exact type and season. Sun-ripened tomatoes have
the best flavor, however, for year-round availability the fruit is often
picked and ripened off the plant. These tomatoes are versatile in
everyday cooking. Adding a pinch of sugar and taking care to season the
dish well helps to overcome any weakness in flavor.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes : This is one of
the fashionable foods of the late Eighties and early Nineties. They add
an evocative flavor to many Mediterranean dishes but don't use them too
Tomato Puree: This is good for adding
an intense tomato flavor, but use carefully or the flavor will be
overpowering. Tubes have screw tops and are better than cans as , once
they are opened, they can be kept for up to 4-6 weeks in the
Yellow Tomatoes : These are exactly
like red tomatoes - they may be round, plum or cherry-sixed - except
they are yellow.