Saturday, January 31, 2009

plump things with a navel

The long hot days and nights are starting to deliver the summer goods, the cherry season Is about to finish, Marlborough sweet corn will be on the tables soon (you can already buy corn in the supermarkets but  the best corn tastes truly great when it has been pickled less that 24 hours prior to eating), juicy peaches, nectarines and plums are now at their best and there is a abundance of which means better prices as we can pick our own or buy them in bulk for preserves.

 Genetic evidence shows that  the history of  tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit with a centre of diversity in the highlands of Peru and while this may not be true for NZ tomatoes (except for winter time) they are now grown all around the world.   The first domesticated tomato was a little yellow fruit, ancestor of L. cerasiforme, grown by the Aztecs in Mexico, who called it xitomatl (pronounced shi-to-ma-tlh), meaning "plump thing with a navel", it is otherwise know as the s "wolf-peach or  "wolf-apple", as they are a major food of wild canids in South America.  While we know them simply as red tomatoes there  are hundreds of varieties around the world that grow in all shapes, sizes and colours from black in Russia to Rainbow in Europe.  China is the largest produce of tomatoes in the world, easily tripling the production of its founders in America

My Favourite way of eating tomatoes, simply sliced and served on toast with marmite, Marlborough flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, my two year old likes them raw, al natural , and the 6 year old likes them processed into sauce and spread onto everything – my wife enjoys tomatoes  slow roasted and turned into a soup or braise, who said that kiwis were not world leaders in gastronomy with tastebuds like these

Tomato Relish



1 kg tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 kg onions, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons mustard powder

2 cups vinegar

2 tablespoons cornflour



Place all ingredients except for cornflour into a saucepan and boil for 30 minutes. Mix cornflour to a paste with a little water and add to the tomatoes, stir to combine and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. 

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