Over 1 kg! 2.2 pounds! Here is the king of this week’s crop of Cuore di Bue tomatoes from our vegetable garden. This particular variety is considered to be the best salad tomato – not just because of its size (as big as a bull’s heart hence the name) but also because of its thin skin, relatively few seeds and wonderful creamy flesh consistency and flavor. Eminently sliceable, it is indeed perfect in salads, especially caprese.
The tomato was "discovered" by the Spanish Conquistadors while exploring and then conquering the Americas. It was during the 1500s that Columbus and other explorers introduced the tomato to Europe. The first mention of tomato – pomi d’oro – in Italy was in 1548 in the household records of Cosimo de’ Medici. He was presented with a basket containing tomatoes grown on his Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo (very close to our own Arsenio vegetable garden) and to begin with the Grand Duke was perplexed by this strange fruit. Luckily the national diffidence was soon set aside and now tomatoes are interwoven with Italian culinary culture and national identity.
Time for lunch… And I know just what we will be eating!