The Land of Tomatoes

While touring Spain we noticed that every grocery store would sell several variations of the tomatoes. Curious, we asked the kids Spainsh tutor to take us on a grocery tour to learn out more about the different types of tomatoes grown in Spain. Spaniards in general eat the most tomatoes than most of their neighbors in Europe.  They are also the 4th largest exporter of tomatoes in the world.

What we learned was that the word “tomato” actually comes from the Spanish word “tomate”.  Apparently in the 1500’s tomatoes were known to be poisonous by Europeans because of their bright colored fruit.  Tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables.

In Spain, the world’s largest “tomato fight” called La Tomatina takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August in the Valencian town of Bunol.  The festival is purely for fun, and draws thousands of particpants from all over the world. Unfortunately, we just left Valencia a week prior and missed the whole thing.

La Tomatina Festival  Photo Credit:  www.latomatina.org
La Tomatina Festival – Photo Credit: http://www.latomatina.org

Since the local fruit and vegetable grocery was busy, we decided to grab one of each variety of tomato and go back to our hotel to discover which category they fell into and which tomato tasted the best.

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Tomato Ensalada are large and often used for sandwiches, salads and cooking.
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Tomate de Pera or “Roma” are easily identified by their shape and intense colour. Fine skin, smooth flavour and fleshy texture. Ideal when blended for use in gazpachos and when grated for spreading on bread; this tomato stores well.
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Campari is a type of tomato, noted for its juiciness, high sugar level and low acidity. These are the ones you’ll find “on the vines” in the grocery stores.
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Kumato’s is firm, with its colors ranging from green to reddish brown or purple.  they are normally sweeter than typical tomatoes.
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Tomato Daniela’s are also used for sandwiches.
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Raf tomatoes are the green/red striped tomatoes with deep grooves.  They are normally fleshy, soft and sweet. Great in salads.
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“We ate these first” 🙂
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Our tomato display 🙂

After 2 hours we ended our lesson with a lot more knowledge about these lovely fruits.  In the end, they kids couldn’t decide which tomato they liked best.  They ate all of them and by then was confused which one was which!?

It was a fun learning exercise, Mom and Dad even learned a few things.

2 thoughts on “The Land of Tomatoes

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