There are more than 7,500 varieties of tomatoes that vary in size, color, and shape, including popular varieties like globe, beefsteak, cherry, heirloom, roma, and grape. Although they’re now practically synonymous with Italian cuisine, tomatoes didn’t actually make their way to Europe until the 16th century from Peru.
Modern farming practices have grown and bred tomatoes to prize a uniform red color over any other characteristic (like sweetness and flavor!). This partially explains the recent surge in popularity of heirloom tomatoes, which can come in many different shapes and colors. Though these tomatoes often come in funky shapes, but are usually bursting with flavor.
Store fresh tomatoes unwashed at room temperature and use immediately once cut or chopped. However, if your room temp is much above 70 degrees and the tomatoes in question are getting very ripe, it’s fine to pop them in the fridge for a day or two.
Select fresh tomatoes that have firm, smooth, and bright skin that feel plump rather than too firm or soft.
High-quality canned tomatoes make a lovely substitute during wintertime. Choose canned tomatoes in containers without dents or swelling, and toss any opened cans that have a foamy appearance.
Get your hands messy and mash one tomato and one avocado into a facial mask. Smooth onto your skin and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. The tomato deep-cleans dirt and debris, while the avocado restores moisture. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat face dry.
A tomato's acidity is powerful enough to clear up pimples and blemishes. Simply apply the pulp to the affected area for up to 30 minutes each day, and then rinse off. Do this consistently over two weeks and you will begin to notice fewer breakouts.
Laid out in the sun for too long and ended up with a painful burn? Soothe your skin by rubbing on a cool blend of tomato and yogurt.
Once you've shampooed your hair, pour tomato juice onto your strands and leave on for five minutes. The homemade conditioner will not only remove buildup, but it will hydrate parched locks. Rinse with cold water.
While most fruits and vegetables are more nutritious in their raw state, cooked tomatoes actually have higher levels of absorbable lycopene and antioxidants.
Juicy summer tomatoes are most impressive simply dressed with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. For a quick gazpacho, blend cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and day-old bread.
Try utilizing fresh tomatoes in homemade salsa or bruschetta.
Tomatoes make an unexpectedly delightful pairing with fruits like watermelon and peaches. Try combining them on skewers or in a salad with soft herbs like mint or basil, and a bit of fresh cheese like feta, queso fresco or burrata.
The type of tomato used in fried green tomatoes is actually just an unripe tomato. They hold up well during frying because they’re much more sturdy than ripe tomatoes. However, there is a variety of ripe green tomato that falls in the heirloom variety.
Tomatoes are notoriously high in lycopene, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Red tomatoes do not necessarily have more lycopene than other colors.
Tomatoes are also full of vitamins A and C.
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