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Tomatoes - what to watch out for when buying and other tricks

Tomatoes are very beneficial to our organism. The most important is their red dye called lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant. Among vitamins, vitamins B, C, E and K are most represented, and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. The fiber and folic acid content is also high. Tomatoes are also well suited to different diets - they have a minimal energy value and almost no sugars.

Many consumer surveys show that Czechs have tomatoes preferring. According to the Czech Statistical Office, their average consumption in 1992 was approximately 7 kg, but in 2016 it was already 12 kg . It is also a vegetable for which the Czechs spend the most money annually. Recently, there are very popular small cherry tomatoes.

Ideal conditions for domestic cultivation

Tomatoes are among the thermophilous crops. However, several basic rules must be observed when planning your own "garden". Choosing the type and variety of tomato should depend on whether you decide to grow it in the garden, in the greenhouse or in the containers on the balcony.
"The best of the balcony is the tomato bush that does not reach such an increase and do not need support for its growth. Advanced gardeners then do not allow the tomato sticks, which are grown exclusively from pre-cultivated plantings. It is best to keep them warm in the soil at least 10 ° C. The ideal pre-growing season is March, " notes Ing. Radovan Tůma of the Czech and Moravian Vegetable Union.

Tomatoes love the sun and lots of water. They are very sensitive to mold, so it is necessary to irrigate directly to the roots, not to the leaf. The most suitable is irrigation with the aid of a drip hose, called a drip irrigation. Whoever wants to enjoy fresh tomatoes all year round can buy quality local produce grown in greenhouses under construction with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.

Tomatoes Grow Home Tomatoes from the grocery store

Tomatoes from the home garden are undoubtedly the best we can afford our health. Let's admit, however, that we have become accustomed to the situation when vegetables are on the shelves of stores for a whole 12 months. However, tomatoes imported from southern European and North Africa grocery stores are often not very tasty and, moreover, growers use chemicals and pesticides for plant protection mostly for cost savings.
"To survive long transport, tomatoes must be harvested immature - green. The fruit is then reddened in the truck and in the warehouse, but the taste and smell is irretrievably lost , " adds Ing. Radovan Tůma.

Monika Zábojníková from the cooperative Freshly explains: "On the other hand, domestic production is under close supervision of the Czech Republic's control institutions, which are the Central Inspection and Testing Institute of Agriculture and the State Agricultural and Food Inspection. In addition, Czech growers mostly use tomato plants for biological pest control when growing tomatoes. By purchasing local raw materials, we will also support the development of the economy in the Czech Republic's vegetable regions. "
"A novelty for us is the establishment of a sales organization under the brand name" Freshly Torn ". It brings together a number of independent growers who believe that good-quality vegetables and fruits of a home-made origin with the best taste, grown honestly, friendly to nature and people, and without unnecessary chemistry, should be a matter of course. In stores, the first tomatoes under the brand "Fresh Torn" will appear on Christmas, " says Monika Zábojníková.

What to look for when buying tomatoes

In closed packs you will never know how tomatoes will taste, but you can at least get them through small holes in the package. The taste of tomatoes is most evident in the stage of ripeness and variety. Generally, local growers who collect fully mature tomatoes and grow the most delicate varieties are trying to sell them under the brand name of their own farm.
But some chain stores do not want to tell their customers the identity of farmers and force growers to deliver tomatoes in their private labels. However, even with us, the business chains are listening to their customers, and the best take the Western European trends first. They understand that today, not only is the Czech flag on the packaging, but that customers are also interested in who and where tomatoes grew. At the same time, they understand that under their own brand, a proud farmer will not allow poor quality goods.
"A quality tomato looks fresh at first glance and has a beautiful red color. It should not be swollen, rotten or otherwise damaged. Many uncooked tomatoes have thousands of kilometers in closed trucks, ripening during the journey, which will not only affect the taste but also the health benefits. Therefore, the customer should be particularly interested in the origin, " adds Ing. Tuma.

How to store tomatoes properly

First of all, it should be made clear that tomatoes are not intended for long-term storage. After ripening it will last only a few days.
"The ideal temperature for preserving the taste of tomatoes should be slightly above 10 ° C. So do not put the tomatoes in the refrigerator, lose your taste because of the cold air. It stops the process of ripening and thus prevents a characteristic taste. The cold also destroys the cell membranes of tomato apples, and thus their flesh becomes floury. Tomatoes belong to a bowl or a basket in the corner of the kitchen, " adds Ing. Radovan Tůma. More interesting information can be found at the Quality Academy website .

Source: tz, edited editorially
Photo to tz: FF editor
Author: Šárka Podlenová

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