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Guide to Vegatables

Varieties of Tomatoes

Varieties of Tomatoes

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 pear-shaped.

Beefsteak Tomatoes : Large, ridged and deep red or orange in color, these have a good flavor so are good in salads.

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 indiscriminately.

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 refrigerator.

Yellow Tomatoes : These are exactly like red tomatoes - they may be round, plum or cherry-sixed - except they are yellow.

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