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Tomatoes, Grape (Greenhouse)

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Available

March 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

March 1 - December 31

With a shape that ressembles plum tomatoes and the size and sweetness of cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes took the world by storm in the early 1990s and continue to satisfy the desire for fast, sweet, kid-friendly food. They have a long shelf life, and unlike most cherry tomatoes, can be eaten neatly in one bite, making them a squirt-free choice for social occasions.

What to Look For  

 

Ripe grape tomatoes should feel firm but not too hard, and heavy for their size. Soft spots or mold indicate that a tomato is over ripe.  If buying in a plastic clam shell, turn over the container to ensure that the bottom tomatoes are still firm and not bruised. The best test for a good tomato is its scent – a well-defined tomato aroma is the best indication of a flavourful, juicy experience.

 

Cleaning and Preparation  

 

Rinse tomatoes under running water and pat dry with a clean towel. If the skins are not desired, they can be removed by plunging the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds and then into a tub of cold water.  The skins will peel off easily once the tomatoes have cooled down.

 

Storage  

 

Keep tomatoes at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.  Never place in the refrigerator, unless the tomatoes are very ripe and they will not be used that day, as refrigeration prevents the tomatoes from ripening further. To speed up the ripening process place tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple or pear, which produce ethylene, a ripening gas.

 

To freeze, lay whole, washed tomatoes in a single layer on a pan in the freezer.  Once frozen, pack into freezer bags and remove as needed.  Tomatoes can also be peeled and boiled down into a sauce before freezing in containers.

 

Nutritional Information  

 

Tomatoes are a very good source of vitamins A, C and K and a good source of potassium and manganese. Deep red tomatoes contain high levels of the carotenid, lycopene, a powerful phytochemical. Lycopene is not well absorbed into the body unless the tomatoes are cooked and some dietary fat (such as olive oil) is present In addition, vine-ripened tomatoes have more lycopene than those that ripen after they are picked.  

 

12 grape tomatoes provide about 25 calories, 0.2g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1.2g dietary fibre, and 0.5g protein.

 

How to Use  

 

Although tomatoes originated in the New World and were not introduced to Europe and Asia until the 16th Century, it’s hard to imagine a national cuisine that doesn’t celebrate them.  Raw, boiled down into sauces, roasted until caramelized, seared over an open flame or dried under the sun, tomatoes are an indispensable food around the world.

 

Varieties

 

The Santa variety was the first to be introduced.  New varieties include Elfin, Juliet Hybrid and Sprite.