Features of Tomatoes
One of the most cultivated plants in the gardens and small spaces is the tomato. Its origin is South American and appears only in European cultivation from the years following the 1500’s. The classification sees it belongs to the solanaceae family, together with potatoes, peppers and other plant species. The tomato, as it is not a plant that can withstand the winter, is cultivated as annual, ie it is planted in spring and harvested to maturation completed during summer, or at the end of the season for late variants. The shapes and sizes of tomatoes are so many. Just go to a common local market to find a lot of different alternatives, each one more suitable for preparing specific recipes. The smallest are cherry tomatoes, which are named after the fruit they look like cherry. This is a variety that is harvested by clusters, ie picking all the fruits that are present on the same cluster and not individually as is the case for other types. Progressively, in size, there is the datter, the San Marzano, the Heart of Ox.
Cultivating tomatoes is fairly simple and can be done both in vegetable and potted, provided the selected containers are large enough, at least 40 cm in diameter. Varieties like cherry blossoms are better suited for cultivation in vases, due to the development of the bush of the plant. With regard to tomatoes cultivated in the field, an adequate support system must be set up, which can simply be characterized by a series of bamboo shoots to which the growing plant is bound. One of the steps needed to get very productive and healthy plants is the feeding. This term refers to the removal of unproductive axillary jets that take important nutrition to the rest of the plant. The tomato can be cut, or cut to the top, to facilitate the development of the underlying fruits. The tomato plant, in fact, easily exceeds 2 m in height and produces many leaves that can be removed, especially if they are close to the fruit preventing the sun’s rays from reaching it and, consequently, making it mature completely. Collection can be carried out by hand or with the help of a blade, provided it is clean and sharp.
Tomatoes are in fact a fruit, even if they are often mistakenly considered a vegetable. The beneficial properties, therefore, are manifold and concern the good content of nutritional principles, albeit with low calories. Tomato is an integral part of the so-called Mediterranean Diet, recognized worldwide as one of the best food and, above all, healthier regimes. Some particular tomato varieties, such as black ones, have additional beneficial properties, thanks to the rich content of natural antioxidants. Black tomatoes have the outside with a dark violet coloring, while inside they are red as the rest of the most famous tomato varieties. Consuming tomatoes in salad, perhaps with a string of extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil, is a valuable summer solution. A very appreciated tomato dish is accompanied by mozzarella and with a little oregano to perfume.