sabato 26 gennaio 2008

Tomato Tips

Italy was the first European country to really make use of the tomato. It used to be thought that tomatoes were highly poisonous. Originally, tomatoes were known as pomi d’oro in Italy, which means “yellow apple,” because the tomatoes first used were actually yellow.

Tomatoes are an important part of Italian cooking. Obviously, they are the key ingredient in many sauces used in Italian cooking, but they are also essential for many other classic Italian dishes, such as Bruschetta, which is a delicious favorite appetizer. Get some of Maria Liberati’s fantastic Bruschetta recipes, coming soon in The Italian Kitchen! Here are some important tips to remember when working with tomatoes.

Use a sharp serrated knife to cut tomatoes, instead of a flat-edge knife. A flat-edge knife may squash the tomato, and your finished dish may not look as fabulous. We know that fabulous looking dishes are almost as important as fabulous tasting dishes!

While round tomatoes are best for slicing, and cherry tomatoes are best for salads, the Roma tomato is the best tomato for making sauces. They are also known as plum tomatoes, and work well for sauce because there is more flesh to them than skin and seeds, which need to be removed for making sauce. It is best to peel and seed tomatoes for any type of cooking, because it results in better flavor.

When purchasing tomatoes, select fruits with the richest color, and those that have the heartiest smell. Smell the tomato at the bottom, not where the stem comes out. The optimal temperature for storing tomatoes is 50 degrees. They DO NOT need to be refrigerated; in fact, refrigerating tomatoes can result in a loss of flavor. Store tomatoes in a cool dark place, and use them within a few days.

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