YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY TOMATHO
Sounds the same but isn’t :) Just like organic and conventional grown tomatoes look almost the same, but are so definitely very different. I decided to write about tomatoes today, because for me this sour sweet beauty of nature has always been somehow a symbol of spring… maybe it`s the bright red color, speaking of the pure energy of the new beginning; maybe it`s a childhood memory, eating a fresh tomato with feta cheese and bread under the warm sun, anticipating the long months of the upcoming summer holiday… actually now it occurs to me, that maybe most modern kids will grow up without such memories. Imagine that. But, what can we do? Well, besides of thanking God for having had the beautiful childhood we did have, what we can do is only keep on doing what we already are – reminding how important reconnecting with nature is. So before going to scientific data on how important it is to eat clean, organic tomatoes, grown locally, and not the conventional produce sold in supermarkets, let`s say a few words about where this round beauty comes from. No way to skip it, tradition requires to start with reminding that tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. But you already knew that, I`m sure :) The word “tomato” comes from Spanish, tomate and it first appeared in print 1595. Funny thing is, like many others things, it took humans a long time before realizing what a lovely thing they have. People believed tomatoes to be poisonous (actually, the leaves are) and planted them for decoration, not food. Thanks to the Spanish, in early 16th century tomato seeds were first brought to Europe. As we might guess, Italians were the first to cultivate the tomato. The bright red color we think is the true tomato color back then was not known. Italians called tomatoes pomi d`oro, which means yellow apples – from which we come to the conclusion that this is what they were, yellow. Nowadays we know many different types and variations of tomato – red, yellow, green, even (hmmm) black. A recent study, through chemical analysis and blind tests, was held with 152 varieties of tomatoes! The results reveal why people prefer one type to another. Once accounting for fructose, there were seven compounds linked to flavor intensity: 2-butylacetate, cis-3-hexen-1- ol, citric acid, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-methylbutanal, 1-octen- 3-one, and trans,trans-2,4-decadienal. For sweetness, eight of those overlapped, and three more joined the list: geranial, 2-methylbutanal, and 3-methyl-1-butanol. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814611009642 And, remember, always go not only for organic, but also for locally grown.