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Darkloom Heirloom Tomatoes
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Black tomatoes come in a range of colors beyond the traditional red: dark red, brown, maroon, mahogany, chestnut, bronze, purple, chocolate, and black. The color comes from higher amounts of chlorophyll than other tomatoes, which makes the fruits ripen to dark red and purple. Darklooms tend toward the dark red/purpl range. Like other black tomatoes, Darklooms are low in acidity, making their flavor very sweet. The flavor also contains earthy, rich, even smoky complex notes. The texture of Darkloom tomatoes is meaty and holds together well when sliced.
Darkloom tomatoes are available in the late winter through spring.
Darkloom tomatoes are a relatively rare variety of tomato (botanical name Solanum lycopersicum). They belong to the category of black tomatoes, which includes more well-known varieties like Black Krim, Black Russian, or Cherokee Purple.
Tomatoes are made up mostly of water, carbohydrates, and fiber. One small raw tomato is approximately 95 percent water, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of fiber. Other nutrients in tomatoes include some protein, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, all of which are important for health including maintaining blood pressure and heart health. The dark color of black tomatoes in particular indicates high antioxidant content, which slows cell damage.
Because of their superior slicing quality and complex flavors, black tomatoes are best enjoyed raw. Cut up Darkloom tomatoes in sandwiches or on platters sliced with mozzarella cheese, or make into an unusually colored bruschetta, salsa or salad. The color of black tomatoes diminishes a bit when cooked but they will still make a delicious pasta sauce.
Black tomatoes are originally from the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea. Tomatoes in Russia and the Ukraine were introduced from South America in the 17th century, where they have since been sliced raw as appetizers, made into sauces and borsch, and preserved for the winter. Black tomatoes in particular were generally only known hyper-locally until soldiers in the Crimean War in the early 1800s brought seeds back with them when they returned home. People began experimenting with black varieties across the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union, introducing them to other parts of the world.
Most black tomatoes were developed in the Crimean peninsula, where the hot, dry climate favors the growth of black tomatoes, which need long and hot summers. Because of this, black tomato varieties do best in similar climates such as the southern US and Mexico. They can be grown in cooler climates but will not achieve the same coloring. Darkloom tomatoes found for sale in the US are most often grown in Mexico, where they receive the proper heat and light. Black tomato varieties do not grow as well in colder climates with shorter periods of summer heat.
Recipes that include Darkloom Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|BB Online||Black Krim Tomato Marmalade|
|The Kitchn||Fresh Tomato Bruschetta|
|Food.com||Black Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce|
|Ball Preserving & Recipes||Tomato Preserves|