Tomatoes - Vine Ripened/Truss
Is it a vegetable? Is it a fruit? Doesn't matter - its delicious either way...
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in fact a fruit, but their affinity for other savoury ingredients means that they are usually classed as a vegetable.
Tomatoes originated in western South America, crossed the Atlantic to Spain with the conquistadors in the 16th century, but only finally caught on in northern Europe in the 19th century. Today they're one of the most important ingredients available, and are especially indispensible in Mediterranean cookery. The skin, flesh and seeds can all be eaten, but the green leaves are toxic, so should always be discarded.
The number of varieties run into the thousands, and they vary in size from the huge beefsteak to tiny cherry tomatoes, but most have a sweet, gently tangy flavour and are good both raw and cooked.
Roast whole (15-20 minutes). Halve and grill (3-4 minutes). Slice and fry (2-3 minutes on each side). Use in sauces, soups, stews, salads.
Sourced locally across the Shoalhaven, Far South Coast and a little from farmers in the Illawarra. They are grown under clear skies and fresh air; hot sunny Summers and frosty Winters.
Our farmers use permaculture principles and their sowing, weeding and harvesting is all done by hand, without the use of chemicals, pesticides or herbicides preferring green manure crops, compost and natural minerals for biological soil balancing.