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The La Tomatina Affect

The La Tomatina Affect

food, travel

Making sure our tomatoes stay fresh till the end!

It’s that time of year again when we all wonders what, why, when and why once again. And yes, I am talking about the world’s biggest food fight – La Tomatina!

Think of it like Spain’s little way of getting rid of old tomatoes. Rather than cooking them, giving them to animals or preserving them, the Spaniards choose a chaotic tomato fight in the streets near Valencia. Held on August 31 this year, the festival will see 40,000 crazed tomato lovers pack the streets (along with 40,000kg of tomatoes) and carry on the 1945 tradition in a pure, food related, Spanish battle.

But here in Malaysia – and actually everywhere else – we choose to cherish our tomatoes, not squish them into strangers.

At BIG stores, our tomatoes are kept outside the fridge, and there’s a reason for this. Flavour and texture comes from the best produce. It’s no wonder in the streets of Valencia, you can find Pan Con Tomate (tomato on toast) and scratch your head in clueless thought as to how on earth they make a two ingredient dish taste so good?? But here lies the truth. Buying the best produce and storing it correctly. Listen up and we’ll have you saying “Ola” in no time!

Tomatoes 101
Already perfect…
Perfectly ripe tomatoes won’t flourish in the fridge. Keep them on the kitchen bench and try to eat them within four days. For extra flavour, sprinkle with just a touch of sea salt.

Need a little more time…
Keep tomatoes that aren’t quite ripe on the kitchen bench (preferably in a paper bag) with the stem side down. Within a few days, the tomatoes will develop their sweetness and be just right. Make sure you don’t stack your tomatoes on top of each other and keep away from sunlight.

Overripe…
Cold air will keep tomatoes from ripening further so keep them in the fridge. This will result however in the tomatoes losing some of the flavour, so bring them to room temperature before serving.

Once used…
If you’re making a salsa or have cut up tomatoes, cover them well with cling film and leave in the fridge. As above, just take them out of the fridge to rejuvenate for a little while before you tuck in.

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