British Tomato Fortnight
Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in traditional Italian cooking, so it seems only right for us to celebrate the fresh British Tomatoes that we know and love. Read on to discover more about tomatoes…
HOW TOMATOES MADE THEIR WAY INTO ITALIAN COOKING
Despite the initial assumption that tomatoes they were poisonous, they gradually made their way into Italian cooking. Partly due to the influence of Spain, who controlled much of southern Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries. Teaching Italians to fry tomatoes in a pan along with onions, squash, and eggplant, the Spanish influence the dishes similar to the modern-day ratatouille. At a time when spices were expensive and hard to find, tomatoes enabled Italians to flavour foods with ease.
By the 18th century, Italians were experimenting with tomatoes, but by the 19th century, they had truly made their way into Italian cooking as we now know it. Appearing in staples such as the Margherita pizza, pasta al pomodoro and others alike, the tomato had found its Italian calling. It was at this time that the Diaspora started, meaning Italians were travelling all over the world, therefore establishing Italy’s global reputation for cooking delicious tomato dishes.
TOMATO-BASED FAVOURITES FROM OUR MENU
From our Gli Antipasti menu, this dish consists of king prawns, tomato, garlic, chilli and a hint of cream, creating an explosion of flavours in your mouth.
A staple dish done well. Baked pasta sheets, minced beef, tomato and mozzarella is all this dish needs to tantalise your taste-buds.
Penne Al Forno
Cherry tomato sauce, aubergines and pecorino cheese – a simple pasta dish with heavenly tastes.
Insalata di Mare
We couldn’t forget about the tomatoes that contribute to making our salads so delicious. This one is crab meat, smoked salmon, king prawns, juicy beef tomatoes, red onion and a lemon dressing.
All our pizzas are perfectly smothered in a delicious tomato sauce before adding your favourite toppings.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The English word ‘tomato’ comes from the Aztec word, tomatl.
- The first cultivated tomatoes were yellow and cherry-sized, earning them the name golden apples: pommes d’or in French, pomi d’oro in Italian and goldapfel in German. The Italian for tomatoes today is pomodoro.
- Tomatoes are now the most widely grown ‘vegetable’ in the world and are cultivated as far north as Iceland and as far south as the Falkland Islands.
- Tomato seedlings have even been grown in Space and tomato seeds, which spent six years circling the earth in a satellite, have been compared with others which had stayed at home. No significant differences were found in the growth of plants from the two lots of seed!
- British growers utilise the best and most sustainable production techniques practised anywhere in the world. This requires a high level of technical expertise to produce tastier, closer to market, ‘local’ grown British Tomatoes.
So now that you’re in the spirit to celebrate British Tomatoes, which tomato-based dish will you be eating during this fortnight?