Vegetables Facts and Tips 2: Tomatoes (amended & expanded)



I started this series (14 articles so far) quite some time ago to help my vegan and vegetarian (I’m not!) friends and omnivores as well because of the obvious health benefits.
Since then, I’ve learned and discovered a lot more information that could not ignored.
Therefore I plan to amend and expand all 14 former articles before I can continue introducing a lot more vegetables!
Incidentally、 nothing, pictures included, is copyrighted in my food blogs, so please feel free to use anything!

1) Potatoes

Tomatoes have laid on our tables for so long that we have almost forgotten they came from South America. The Spanish and the Portuguese ignored them. The British studied them. The French brought them to Europe under the name of “Love Apple”, a name still existing in Italy. So it is said,…

“Fruit Tomatoes”

This summer-maturing fruit can be bought all year round with the interesting consequence that tomatoes ripened in winter are sweeter than their summer cousins as they contain less water, earning themselves the name of “fruit tomatoes”, a great oxymoron, if there was one!

Thanks to consumers’ insatiable appetite for novelty, tomatoes are grown into all kinds of size, shape and colour.
Just to cite a few, the following are the most popular in Japan:

“Momotaro Tomatoes”

-Momotaro (after the Japanese “Peach Boy” tale), which becomes “Fruit tomato” in winter.

“Momotaro Tomato/Gold Variety”

“Midi Tomatoes”

-Midi Tomato (sometimes called “Plum tomatoes”), a larger cousin of the “Mini tomato”, is very sweet and very high in nutrients. Its aroma has a particularly long life.

“Italian tomatoes”

-Italian Tomato: mainly used for cooking, it may often come in a comparatively elongated shape.
It contains less water and reveals both large amounts of sweetness and acidity, making it very conducive to long cooking with the extra bonus of actually improving in taste upon heating.

“Sicilian Rouge”,both for cookingand salads.

“Mini Tomatoes”

-Mini Tomato: one-bite sized, it is also called “Petit tomato”. It contains twice as many Vitamin C, and it is very rich in beneficient ingredients.

“Yellow Mini Tomatoes”

-Yellow Mini Tomato: characteristic for a lot of sweetness and very little acidity. Very handy for children who dislike vegetables!

“Ameera Rubbins”

-Ameera Rubbins: with its larger Ammeera tomato, it is grown exclusively (until now, but they are bound to expand beyond our borders!) in Shizuoka Prefecture. They are the sweetest of all, tasting like strawberries, and very firm, making them ideal for decoration, notwithstanding their nutrient value. The smallest variety called “Rubbins” is grown by only two farmers near Iwata City!

“Micro Mini Tomatoes”

-Micro Mini Tomatoes: increasingly popular, they are only 8~10 mm and look somewhat like redcurrants. Very tasty with a beautiful acidity, the Japanese use them not only in salads, but also as the final touch on a plate of sashimi!

“Fruit Yellow”, a small variety popular with kids!

“Fruit Gold”, sweet and rich in vitamins!

“Nitakikoma”, a Japanewse variety which does not break away even after long cooking.

“Green Zebra”, Japanese name for green heirloom tomato

Heirloom Tomatoes grown in Shizuoka City!

“Green”, stays green when ripe

“Cindy Sweet”, well-balanced and sweet

“Aiko”, Japanese variety. Exists both in yellow and red. Eaten cooked or raw.

“Tomato Berry”, small, sweet and well-balanced.

“Campari”, grown in Hokkaido, Japan, originally from Holland. Fruity!

“Piccola Rouge”, japanese version of an Italian Mini-tomato variety.

“First”. Appears in Winter. Grown in Iwata City, too! Beautil pointed shape. Juicy!

“Piccola Canaria”, an orange variety of the Piccola.

“Black”, as it is called!

“Kisu”. Beautiful colour and very sweet!

“Zeitaku Tomato”, meaning “Extravagant Tomato” in Jpaanese! Fruty, juicy and sweet!

“Guppi”, a tasty tomato apt for cooking.

“Carrot Tomato”. High in carotens, taste similar to carrot. Appreciated raw.

“Orange Banana” from Russia! Very sweet!

“Evergreen”. Versatile, can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled.

“Tokutani Tomato”. Fruit tomato, especially grown in Shikoku Island. Brand Tomato. Very expensive!


-Season: All year round
-Main elements: Licopin (Ricopin), Vitamin A, Beta, C, B1, B2, B6, Potassium, Pectin, Luchin (Ruchin), Maggnesium.
Licopin is a carotene variety particularly beneficial in fights against allergies and ageing. The Potassium and Vitamin C and Pectin help control cholesterol in blood.
Luchin reinforces capillary veins and arteries.
Recent researches in Germany and China have proven that tomatoes help control high blood pressure.


-Combined with Potatoes, or Broccoli, or garlic, or onion, helps combat ageing.
-Combined with cabbage, or chilies, or spinach, helps combat cancer and helps blood flow.
-Combined with lemon, or cauliflower, or pimentoes, or parsley, helps lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
-Combined with vinegar, or oranges, or apples, or strawberries, helps recovery from illness and injury, helps combat stiff shoulder.

Who said that the Italians look healthier than everybody else? LOL


-Choose tomatoes with a deep colour and healthy strong skin!
-Preservation: before storing them into the vegetable compartment of your fridge, wrap themin newspaper or put them inside a vinyl bag, or even better, inside a rigid plastic sealed box.
-Peeling: better than boiling water, direct contact with a flame! Make a very shallow cut near the stem area, firmly stick a fork or thin skewer into the stem area, hold the tomato directly over the gas flame for a few seconds, then plunge it into cold water. Skin should come off very easily.

Not-Just-Recipes, Bengal cuisine, Cooking Vegetarian, Frank Fariello, Gluten-free Vegan Family, Meatless MamaFrank Fariello, , Warren Bobrow

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi, Le Petit Cuisinier, Vegan Epicurean, Miss V’s Vegan Cookbook


9 thoughts on “Vegetables Facts and Tips 2: Tomatoes (amended & expanded)”

  1. We recently had a volunteer plant show up in our preschool garden box. It looked like a cherry tomato plant so I let it be. When I came back several weeks later, it had tiny black fruits on it. The plant still resembles a tomato in the way the fruits formed and everything. I asked one of my student’s mom and she said it grows wild in Mexico but it’s not a tomato. how can i find out?


  2. Hello,

    The black tomatoes are so beautiful- could you advise me on where I can buy the seeds? I can only find burgundy/crimson toms that call themselves black, and do not have that lovely jet colour.

    Thank you very much,


    1. Maybe you have already come across it since you posted this, but there is the “Galaxy Black” tomato. According to one website:

      “The black tomato was developed by Italian researchers at the University of Pisa, and is now being commercially exploited by Seeds Technologies, based in Kfar Ruth, Israel. It is not yet available in the United States.”

      I love black tomatoes. It all started when I decided to give heirlooms a try and selected Black Brandywine. Black Prince is a superb tomato.


      1. Cheers Ken!
        Actually I’m helping out with a local roof garden. There will be plenty of tomatoes to comment on, especially heirloom and black cherry tomatoes!


  3. A very enlightening article. As always I am in awe of the Japanese varieties in so many categories!

    I am most interested in some of the micro varieties and the micro mini. we have some smaller varieties here as well as alot of different Heirloom varietials but this is the smallest I have ever seen. I would love to sample and work with them. Also the Black tomato is very unique! Is it tasty? What are is the flavor profile?

    Regards, Eric Ackerson


    1. Dear Eric!
      Thank you so much for your kind comments!
      The black tomato is actually tasty and almost sweet!
      Actually farmers here are coming up with new varietals on a regular basis!


  4. Charring the skin like a pepper, brillant! Why didn’t I think of that? As soon as I pick up some fresh tomatoes I can’t wait to try charring the skin.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!



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