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Tomato week: Week 20 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

Time to plant some Tomatoes.

Tomatoes are the key ingredient to summer. We have them on BBQ’s, salads, cook with them, fry them, how ever you like them and we all know a perfectly ripe tomato can’t be beaten especially if it is ugly!  Yes, ignore the perfectly round red ones and go for foreign looking tomatoes. The general rule is; the uglier they are the better.  Try growing your own so you eat them fresh and naturally ripe. And they are good for us.

Brimming over with vitamins A, C and E, as well as the antioxidant lypocene, which helps to mop up damaging free radicals in the body that can harm our cells, tomatoes are not only delicious, but wonderfully healthy too.

Six cool facts about tomatoes:
1. tomatoes be yellow, pink, purple, black and even white
2. Walt Disney World Resort, has the largest single tomato plant in the world covering 56.73 metres sq, bigger than an Olympic size swimming pool
3. Heinz Tomato Ketchup has a speed limit? If the sauce pours at more than 0.028mph in the Heinz factory, it’s considered too runny and rejectediStock chilli salsa XSmall
4. La Tomatina is an annual festival in Spain, where people throw 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
5. The largest ever tomato on record was picked in Oklahoma, USA, in 1986. It weighed over 3.5kg
6. There are around 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide

Best of all, now’s the time to get your hands on the very best – beautiful British tomatoes grown outdoors in the sunshine! Or grow your own! You really can taste the difference when British tomatoes hit the shelves. Expect crunchy skins and sweet, fresh flesh that’s ripe for the picking.

Even if you’re not a fan of sinking your teeth straight into a ripe tomato, you can still enjoy the many pleasures they bring to salads, soups and sauces to get your fill of all the good stuff!

Farm shops and grocers are a fantastic place to find the very freshest tomatoes and, if you’re lucky, you might even find a pick your own near you. Visit our local food map to find retailers and farms in your area.

Fresh local tomatoes at you local shop

Fresh local tomatoes at your local shop

Or, if you prefer your tomatoes bottled up or preserved, then there’s a whole host of amazing producers in the BigBarn MarketPlace making wonderful things from delicious British tomatoes. Take a look and buy online.

We highly recommend having a go at growing some at home, in the greenhouse, garden, or window ledge. Ask your local garden centre or gardener about the best variety to buy for taste and to suit the space you have for growing. Some grow as a bush, others will climb up to 7 feet tall!

If you have a favourite tomato recipe that you’d like to share, or any other recipe, and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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