Localized or “Native” Tomatoes

A recent post on tomatoes resulted in a lively aatom1discussion in the comments section regarding heirloom and “native” or “localized’ tomatoes. I also read with interest Karen’s post on Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans that details these irregular looking but great tasting tomatoes that have evolved on local shores over the last two hundred + years or so… I finally got some at the market today and now realize these were the tomatoes we used to buy long ago when all the other fancy “modern” farmed versions weren’t so readily available. These tomatoes have a very thin skin and a somewhat watery pulp. They are great for sawsawan (dipping sauces) and overall a nice naturally interesting option to greenhouse varieties.

How did these tomatoes get this way? I think the original aatom2seeds introduced centuries ago, mutated over time and since we just kept planting the seeds from the fruit, they have in fact become “localized” and pretty much now our “own.” A similar result is visible in our local eggplants that have mutated into slightly different shades of green and white… At any rate, these localized tomatoes were superb in a simple dip with chilli vinegar and salt that I served with some fried fish (post up next). They do tend to bruise and spoil faster than the thicker skinned varieties so only buy what you can use up in the next couple of days. At PHP40 a kilo, these are a bargain compared to the fancy beefsteak tomatoes I got in the same shopping spree at PHP120 a kilo!

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5 Responses

  1. there you go MM…yes, those are indeed the tomatoes of my youth…juicier and really great for dipping…salsa made out of those tomatoes, onions (or better yet shallots), young leaves of mango or cashew (those really, really young that we call “putat” in kapampangan) is great with chicaron or litson kawali…

  2. been a long long time I have not seen this kind of tomato, the love the shape, the one I buy here at the local market is so soft rounded… boring ;-)

    sawsawan.. am busy testing a pulutan thingie.

  3. cebu seems to only have green tomatoes, what’s up with that?! i was never a fan of the green ones…

  4. I think what is great about thin skinned local tomatoes, is that unlike the European variety you don’t need to dipped them in boiling water and then cold running water to peel them. Just chopped them up and used them as is, skin and all.

    Heard about the local varieties of eggplant first on Alton Brown’s Good eats, which surprised me actually. Didn’t even knew that there are local varieties of eggplants.

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