You say “to-MAY-to”, I say “to-MAH-to”…

You say “to-MAY-to”, I say “to-MAH-to”…

Tomato season is here, which means an abundance of well-priced options at the market through the summer and early fall.  By storing your tomatoes on the kitchen counter and not in the refrigerator, tomatoes will ripen naturally and maintain their texture, flavor and nutritional value.

My tomato shopping guide, below:

  • Cherry.  Typically the smallest – perfect for snacking, stuffing, of adding to salads and pastas.   Red is most common, but you may find yellow, green and black varieties, too.
  • Grape.  Great for snacking, salads and garnishes.  With a low water content, they store well.
  • Compari.  A round, firm, deep-red tomato – smaller than cherry tomatoes but bigger than an average tomato on the vine.  Great for snacking, salads, sandwiches, on pizza, in salsa or roasted.  A good Compari tomato will be sweet, juicy, tender, and deep red.
  • Beefsteak.  A large, base-ball sized tomato that is warm, fragrant and juicy.  They are easy to slice, so one tomato can go a long way – making them perfect for sandwiches or hamburgers.
  • Roma.  Also commonly referred to as plum tomatoes or paste tomatoes, they are often used for canning because of their firm texture, slender shape and low water and seed content.  They are well-suited for salsas and tomato-based sauces.
  • Kumato.  Brownish-red, with a complex, sweet-tart flavor and strong “tomato” smell.  Delicious and beautiful in a Caprese salad or bruschetta.
  • Heirloom.  Heirloom tomatoes have become increasingly popular over the years, with over 100 varieties.  An heirloom is considered to be a variety whose seeds are passed down through several generations, and can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, flavors and sizes.  Look for plump fruit without bruises or decay.  Heirlooms are also more susceptible to cracking, but as long as you can’t see the flesh of the tomato, it won’t affect taste or safety.

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