The tomato, the fruit king of vegetables

There are many misunderstandings between the French and the tomato. Yet its pulp has already conquered the plates.

An ornamental plant until the 18th century

It’s hard to believe, but in the old days we didn’t eat tomatoes . Considered poisonous, its plants were used as ornamental plants until the 18th century.

Two centuries earlier, the “tomatl” of the Aztecs crossed the Atlantic Ocean. It first established itself in southern Europe. The Provençals were the first to cook it. They made it the basis of sauces more or less spicy. Little by little, it invaded European tables. Today, the French consume more than 14 kg of it per year and per household, according to the French National Health Service.INSEE .

The tomato, first cooked like a vegetable…

In salads, with fish or meat, the tomato is most often cooked as a vegetable. The favorite vegetable of the French. It is, however, a fruit of which there are several thousand varieties . They differ in shape, colour or texture.  In the summer, the cherry tomato participates in all barbecues. In the autumn, its round cousins accompany a good pasta dish. As for the “beef’s heart”, it comes back in grace after having been neglected for a long time.

Its cooking properties make it the perfect ally for stuffed tomatoes.  Low in calories and rich in vitamins, tomatoes are eaten all year round thanks to greenhouse cultivation. Two thirds of French production comes from the Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (PACA ). Nevertheless, tomatoes in the peak season, from May to September, are considered to be more tasty.

Read also: Growing tomatoes well

Strawberry tomato cocktail with basil

P or 4 people:

  • 4 grape tomatoes,
  • 500 g of strawberries,
  • 8 basil leaves,
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar,
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil,
  • A pinch of salt.

– Wash the strawberries and tomatoes. – Hull the strawberries. – Cut the tomatoes into pieces. – Place the fruit in the bowl of a blender. – Pour in the balsamic vinegar, salt and oil. – Blend. Wash and dry the basil leaves. – Chop them finely.

– Add the basil chiselled in preparation.

Mix and serve chilled.

M.B .

Credits of the visuals : Tomatoes : ©Frédéric Combes Cocktail strawberry tomato basil : ©Philippe Dufour/Interfel