How should I eat tomatoes

Tomato as raw food - the classic on the plate

The history of tomatoes goes back to the Aztecs and Mayans. As early as 200 BC The South American peoples cultivated the red tubers, the seeds of which were found in later excavations near Mexico City. Christopher Columbus brought the tomato to Europe centuries later, where it was still kept as an ornamental plant in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today the nightshade plant, which is closely related to the potato, has become an indispensable part of our diet and is grown on a large scale worldwide.

Germany's favorite vegetable: the tomato

Germans eat an average of 22 kg of tomatoes a year. Half of these are processed foods, where the tomatoes are heated, strained, extracted or pressed. The remaining part consists of fresh tomatoes that are used in cooking, but can also be used raw. Tomatoes can be eaten raw without hesitation. This is even recommended, as it prevents the loss of heat-sensitive nutrients. For optimal nutritional content, tomatoes should be consumed within four to five days and, moreover, it is better not to store them in the refrigerator. Otherwise you run the risk of losing the typical taste.

Tip from eurapon: Remove green parts and stalks before consumption, as these are slightly poisonous. Therefore, you shouldn't eat immature specimens either! Do you still have unripe spots on your tomatoes? By storing them together with apples, the ripening process can be intensified by the natural "ripening gas" ethene.

What is inside? Lots of water, lots of nutrients

Tomatoes consist of 95% water, so they are very low in calories and also contain a large number of nutrients. In addition to vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium, it contains lycopene, a special carotenoid. This ingredient can also be found in increased concentrations in rose hips and is responsible for the red color in fruits and vegetables. In order to optimally absorb lycopene, the consumption of tomato juice or tomato paste is recommended, as the plant structures are broken up when heated and the substance can loosen.

Tomatoes - You should know these varieties

More than 3000 different tomato varieties are registered worldwide and new ones are added every year. You should know these types of tomatoes:

  • Stick tomatoes - grow indefinitely and are held by sticks
  • Beefsteak tomatoes - contain more pulp, are rounder and slightly ribbed
  • Cherry / cocktail tomatoes - the smallest tomatoes and mostly slightly sweet
  • Plum tomatoes - taste particularly intense
  • Bush / vine tomatoes - are harvested as a whole grape

In addition to the classic varieties, we are also increasingly finding special shapes in supermarkets that come from special breeds and visually differ from the classic red of the tomato. Exciting varieties are, for example, the "Black Cherry", which is striking because of its black color. Yellow wild tomatoes are now also not uncommon and are an eye-catcher on salad buffets. The variety “Green Zebra”, which alternates between green and yellow, is reminiscent of the structure of a watermelon.

Raw variety - recipes with tomatoes

Tomatoes can be easily processed raw and are a neutral companion for strong ingredients. In the eurapon raw food guide you will find further links to recipe ideas in which the popular raw vegetables are used: