How to choose tomatoes

tomato video (h)

The summer months and british tomatoes are made for each other. Here are some  great varieties to try.

Choose

Look for bright and firm tomatoes with wrinkle-free skins that are not split, and have a sweet, earthy scent. If sold on the vine, choose a thick, strong vine with tightly attached tomatoes.

Store

It's best not to put tomatoes in the fridge as this will impair their flavour and texture. To enjoy tomatoes at their best, store them at room temperature. If tomatoes aren't quite ripe, leave them in the fruit bowl for a couple of days.

Prep

Rinse before halving, slicing or dicing. To remove the skins, blanch in boiling water, then drain and refresh for easy peeling. To de-seed, halve the tomato and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Serve 

Tomatoes can be used in any number of ways. Enjoy them raw and tossed in a salad, added to a sauce, stuffed, roasted or even oven–dried. 

Insider Info: Robert James, Tomato Grower 

Tell us about your job.

I’m the technical manager at Thanet Earth, a salad–crop growing company based in Kent. This means I’m responsible for developing delicious new varieties of tomato for Tesco, such as this year’s emerald green. I travel the world for inspiration, bringing back new techniques for better–tasting tomatoes.

What are the benefits of growing tomatoes under cover?

We supply seven varieties, all grown hydroponically (in rockwool blocks through which water rich in nutrients is pumped) in high–tech glasshouses. So we are able to give the plants exactly what they need, allowing us to grow flavoursome Britishtomatoes all year round with minimal waste.

What’s your favourite?

Our piccolo cherry tomato has a superb flavour and texture. It’sgreat in salads and alsoroasted whole on the vine to enjoy with fish. 

Watch our tomato grower video here

RF Aug Sep 2013 cover (t)As featured in the Real Food Magazine August/September 2013.

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