Without a doubt the vegetable I am asked the most questions about is the tomato what makes this interesting is in fact the tomato is technically a fruit.
The commonest question is
“why dont tomatoes I buy taste like they used to ?”
and the short answer is they are are most likely a variety whose breeding program was designed to meet numerous criteria but “taste” wasn’t high on that list
Growing your own is the best way to rediscover those tastes and the film below shows you how to start your seeds
The latest scientific research even backs up the belief that home grown tomatoes taste better
At the world famous Kew gardens they have been researching “taste” and interestingly this is what they found
Professor Monique Simmonds, Deputy Director of Science at Kew, said, “Tomatoes grown at Kew had a much higher level of complexity of chemicals than supermarket tomatoes, which are picked early and not matured on a vine.”
Not only did the produce grown at Kew have a greater depth of flavour, but the experiment suggests that could be healthier too.
“The complexity of chemistry suggests that they are likely to be healthier,” said Professor Simmonds. “We found higher levels of lycopene, which is known to have health benefits and contain antioxidants.”
Lycopene has been shown to help unclog blocked arteries and is thought to be one of the major reasons the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
My own experience would back this up totally and below are the varieties I grow, I may not grow all of them each year but they all feature
Green Zebera — The flavour is exquisite one of my absolute favorites and looks pretty in the salad bowl. Med sized 85g, round, smooth fruits ripening to a beautiful chartreuse with deep lime-green stripes & yellow background the stripes cover more than 65 percent of the tomato
Cuor di Bue — ‘Ox Heart’ beef tomato, so called because of its size and shape. A lovely slicing tomato due to its meaty flesh, and few seeds. Strong flavored and can make a delicious sauce so real duel purpose tomato. Normally 150-180g but can get much larger.Has lower acidity than most reds
Rose di Berne — Excellent sweet/tart flavoured deep glowing pink with high yields, can be large but not s big as a ‘beefsteak’ type .112- 228g real tomato taste
Rosada — Elongated baby cherry plum with superb flavour always performs well, prolific cropper with large trusses of vibrant red colour and great straight from the vine .
Bottondoro — Orange cherry with great taste and high sugar and Betacarotene content real favorite with children as sweeter than more traditional varieties.
Green Grape — Bush. Small, slightly grape-shaped cherries are ripe when they have a green chartreuse colour. Great rich, sweet and zingy flavour, but untidy plant which can be grown in large pot
Black Sea Man — beautiful tomatoes that are rich mahogany colored with olive green shoulders when mature. Inside of tomato is deep, reddish green and loaded with excellent, full-bodied, complex, intense, creamy tomato flavors. This is a potato leafed variety with large tomatoes of 340-455g. Can split but grow fantastically with careful watering
Black Plum — Very attractive, small garnet-coloured plum. Not brilliant raw but it makes a fantastic wonderfully scented sauce and worth growing just for this and a very heavy cropper
San Marzano — The archetypical plum tomato from Italy that is regarded by many chiefs as the best tasting tomato for cooking in the world.Thinner skinned than most commercial varieties with a dry, meaty flesh,but with a sublime tomato taste.
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