Good Food Blog
Tasteless tomatoesPosted at 11:43AM, 08 April 2008 by Gregg Wallace - TV presenter, greengrocer
I regularly listen to people moaning about the quality of tomatoes. The most common gripe being 'you can't get tomatoes over here like they have in Spain'. Yes you can!
The reason the tomatoes you have in Spain taste so good is simple. You are eating fruit that was picked when ripe, and then left in the sun. Next time you are in a Mediterranean country, take a good look at the veg, fruit, herbs and salad being delivered. They will undoubtedly be on the back of an open truck, with the sun beating down on them. There is not a hint of refrigerated van anywhere. Cold kills the flavour of tomatoes. If it didn't Eskimos would grow really good ones.
A Spaniard would not dream of importing a substandard tomato, so why do we?
The tomatoes eaten abroad have probably been picked a short while ago, from somewhere quite near. Also you are most definitely eating them in spring or summer, during their natural season.
You can get great flavoured tomatoes in Britain. But, you wont find any in January. A Spaniard would not dream of importing a sub standard tom, why do we? Wait till the summer, hit the farmers' markets.
Beware the vine? Tomatoes on a vine are no different to tomatoes off a vine. All tomatoes grow on a vine - well actually it's a truss. A rubbish tomato is a rubbish tomato, whether it's attached to a twig or not. That smell you get when you open the bag, is the smell of the vine, not the fruit.
It's similar for other fruit and veg as well, there's a reason it's called seasonal produce, not all-year-round produce. Maybe one day we'll go back to eating produce from the country we live in and even better, local to our doorsteps, and if that's not an option you can always getting out there and grow your own.