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Pomodori Merinda

Sicilian heirloom tomatoes

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Pomodori Merinda: Sicilian heirloom tomatoes

Pomodori Merinda: Sicilian heirloom tomatoes

© Kyle Phillips, Licensed to About.Com
We take tomatoes for granted now, and it would be quite difficult to imagine Italian cuisine without them, but it took Italians a very long time to accept them: Though they were introduced as ornamental plants in the 1500s, the earliest evidence of their use in the kitchen comes from Francesco Gaudentio's Il Panunto Toscano, published in 1705.

A couple of observations on selecting tomatoes: Italians divide them into two classes: insalatari and da salsa. Insalatari, as one might expect, are salad tomatoes, to be eaten raw. People generally select them not-too-ripe, in other words quite firm, with streaks of green running through them, and with a lively acidity that complements the flavor of the greens in the salad. Pomodori da salsa, on the other hand, are for cooking and should be ripe -- an explosive red, rich, and slightly sweet too.

These are Pomodori Merinda, a Sicilian heirloom tomato that's best when still shot with green. They're also best when they're not too large, and people generally eat them raw, finely sliced because they're thick-skinned, in salads or simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, and vinegar.

More Italian Tomatoes:
Tomato Background, Info & Recipes
Insalata Caprese, Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Anthony's Mediterranean Tomato Salad

Tomatoes Elsewhere on About:
Lush Tomato Salad
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
Mango Tomato Salad
Low Fat Corn, Black Bean and Tomato Salad
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