Originally, the tomato was a small round fruit the size of what is today called a cherry tomato.
Today, the tomato is one of the best-known
ingredients in the world and is used in dishes of almost all
The size of a tomato varies depending on its
type. Some can reach 1 kilo in weight! Its flavour depends on the
degree of acidity, the sugar and water content, the texture of the
flesh and skin and when it was harvested.
There are thousands of tomatoes varieties : red, white, yellow, orange, pink, green, oval, round, miniature, elongated, as enthusiastic amateur gardeners well know.
- The red tomato is the most popular tomato in Quebec. The modern greenhouse industry makes it possible to have juicy red tomatoes all year long.
- Pink tomatoes have been available in Montreal
markets for one hundred years. The pink
tomato is the only commercially-produced tomato in
Even so, years ago pink tomatoes were very popular and reserved for the table, while the red tomatoes were used in soups, ketchup, and sauces.
Italian Oval Tomato
- Having a slightly elongated shape with thick skin, this tomato is firmer than the red, but not as juicy. It contains fewer seeds than other varieties.
- The orange tomato is sweeter than the red. The riper it is, the more fragile it becomes.
- This variety is firm and red. Grape tomatoes are sold still attached to their stems which help to give them nourishment and increases their fragrance and taste not to mention great eye appeal!
Miniature or Cherry
- This tomato is tiny, scented, and available in three colours: red, yellow and orange. It is sweeter and more fragrant than the ordinary red tomato. It can be served as an appetizer either with dips or stuffed. It is also ideal for kebobs and salads.
Fine herb-flavoured ricotta ciabatta rolls
Mushroom-Spinach-Tomato Pizza aux tomates
Ratatouille Style Pork Chops
Zucchini Bruschetta with Gouda
- Select a firm tomato with smooth, shiny skin that is unblemished. The stalk should have a leafy aroma.
- The riper a tomato, the more fragile it is.
- Sugar can be added when cooking to reduce the acidity.
- A ripe tomato is lightly fragrant and delicate.
- Tomato seeds may be added to soups and soup stocks
To easily peel a tomato
- Use a knife to cut an X on the bottom of the tomato and plunge it into boiling water for 10-30 seconds.
- Pass it under cold water then remove the skin beginning at the points of the incision.
To easily remove the seeds
- Cut the tomato horizontally and press each half to force the seeds out with the juice.
- For blanching, simply remove the tough section where the stem was attached by cutting a circle around it and plunge into boiling water.
- Preferably choose the salted Italian or the sun-dried tomato.
- Dried tomatoes should have retained their colour and appearance without turning black or spotted.
- If the dried tomatoes are not already marinating in oil, boil them 15-20 minutes before adding them to your recipe.
- Store dried tomatoes in a good quality olive
oil in the refrigerator.
The exquisite taste of these sweet dried tomatoes is a sure hit when added to: pizzas, salads, quiches, meat and seafood dishes. They are also excellent in sauces, dips, with foccacia bread and pâté, as well as combined with goat cheese.
Different types of tomatoes are available year-round in the produce section of your local METRO supermarket.
A good source of energy, the tomato is rich in potassium and vitamins A and C. It is also rich in lycopene which gives the tomato its red colour and also acts as an antioxidant that reduces the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Unwashed tomatoes can be stored out of direct
sunlight, at room temperature for up to one week. If the
temperature is too warm, refrigerate to slow down the ripening
process. Remove from refrigerator 30-40 minutes before using to
give the flavour a chance to adjust. If you wish to ripen green
tomatoes, simply place in a brown paper bag.
Here are two methods to freeze tomatoes:
- Peel them and place them whole in a plastic freezer bag or
plastic container. They can be kept in this manner for up to three
- Peel and cut them into halves or quarters, add 10 ml (2tsp) of salt, 5 ml (1tsp) sugar, a pinch of pepper for each kilo (2lb) of tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes before freezing. They can be frozen for up to one year.
Learn more about vegetables