The Unassuming Hero in our Kitchen Cupboards
We all have a tin of chopped tomatoes in our kitchen cupboard, but they’re not just a store cupboard essential – there’s so much more to them than that.
Have you ever thought about where the tomatoes come from? Or just how many different cuisines they can be used in? And even why they’re a fruit and not a vegetable? As the experts in tomato-based ingredients, we’ve got the answers…
We’re feeling fruity…
Sure, we all know tomatoes are a fruit, but why is this? It’s actually because they come from a flower and have seeds making them botanically defined as a fruit. Did you know that pumpkins, avocados and courgettes are also all fruits too?
Italy is renowned for their tasty, juicy tomatoes, but they actually originated from Peru in South America. They were introduced to Italy in the 16th century where we still lovingly grow and harvest ours today.
Cooking up a storm
Fancy an Italian? An Indian? Or even a Mexican? Yes, chopped tomatoes are key to creating a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese but have you tried them in a creamy curry or as part of a thick salsa sauce? Their fantastic flavour and succulent texture can help balance out curries, like this Butter Chicken, or complement dishes, such as this Cod and Chorizo Tomato Bake recipe.
We think it’s fair to say that this reliable ingredient is always ready and waiting to muster up something delicious. Thanks to its sweet and intense flavour it can be added to almost anything – chilli con carne, curries, stews, pasta sauces and even in cocktails!
Winner, winner, healthy dinner!
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene that helps to protect cells from damage. It is also lycopene that gives tomatoes their vibrant red colour. Lycopene is more efficiently absorbed when it’s been heated or processed (hello tinned tomatoes!). They also don’t have any added sugar and they’re high in vitamin C.