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Tomatoes info Free recipe and books

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tomatoes info

It was the task of my grandmother along with the other matriarchs of our neighbouring households to preserve tomatoes in different forms at the end of each summer. First the small plum tomatoes would be preserved whole in jars not unlike todays familiar tins of tomatoes. However the real task and one that was done on a rather large scale was making and preserving tomato paste.
Ordinary unevenly shaped large tomatoes were cut in half and sprinkled with salt. They were then exposed to the strong summer sun for two to three days until shrivelled. They were then boiled down with more salt and finally the thick pulp was pressed through a sieve. This was stored in jars for use throughout the winter the top of each sealed with a layer of olive oil.
For the majority of us however the colourful parade of tins jars and packets of tomatoes in the shops whole chopped or liquidized (when it is called passata) or the jars and tubes of tomato paste have eliminated this task. Sundried tomatoes are a recent addition and originated in Italy. As described above these tomatoes have been sliced in two sprinkled with salt and exposed to the hot summer sun until completely dried up. Nowadays in the south of Italy particularly in Puglia where quantities of sundried tomatoes are produced the drying is often actually done in slow ovens.
Sundried tomatoes have a unique taste with their concentrated sunny flavours and they can be used to enhance a number of dishes such as pasta salads stuffings and so on. They can be bought dry in which case they have to be reconstituted in warm water before they are used or they come preserved in oil and ready to use.

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mediterranean

It is quite a paradox that the brilliantly scarlet tomato which is instantly associated with the Mediterranean and is indispensable to its cooking is not a local inhabitant but an immigrant. It was brought to Spain from the Americas by Christopher Columbus in the sixteenth century but did not become generally popular until much later. Its name is derived from the Aztec word tomatl although it was originally known in Spain as pomo doro golden apple as the original varieties seen there were a brilliant yellow in colour.
Tomatoes are low in calories and contain a large amount of vitamin A as well as vitamins C and E and minerals such as calcium potassium iron and phosphorus. They are also rich in betacarotene possibly the most effective antioxidant and levels of this increase when tomatoes are grilled or roasted.
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