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|Food Buzz: History of Tomatoes|
Datterini tomatoes are characterized by their sweet, rich taste and inviting aroma. They are small in size with an elongated shape, similar to that of a date, which is how they got their name. Their skin is thicker than most tomatoes and it houses fewer seeds, which means more flesh. Like cherry tomatoes, Datterini tomatoes have a high acidity, which ripens into a flavorful sweetness with a higher sugar level than most other varieties. The bush-like tomato plants produce the fruit in clusters of as much as a dozen, ripening variably within the clump.
Datterini tomatoes are available in early summer through early fall.
The name Datterini means "little dates" in Italian, alluding to the variety’s extremely sweet taste and small size. They may also be sold as Datterino, presumably the singular form of the name, and there are both red and yellow varieties available. Like all tomatoes, Datterini tomatoes are members of the Solanum family and are botanically called Solanum lycopersicum.
Datterini tomatoes are rich in minerals, citric acid, and vitamins A, B, and C. Tomatoes carry out detoxifying and regenerative actions on body tissue cells, and are specifically beneficial for degenerative problems and arteriosclerosis. Tomatoes are known for their rich concentration of Lycopene, which is the substance responsible for the red color of tomatoes. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that can protect the body from aging, and has even been studied for its ability to protect against certain types of cancer.
Datterini tomatoes are fantastic for eating fresh and raw, largely used for making bruschetta and salads. Simply toss in with salads to add a pop of color and sweetness, eat fresh alongside cold meats and soft cheeses, or top-off a pizza with a scattering of Datterini and fresh herbs. Datterini tomatoes are also tasty when cooked, and are perfect for preparing a delicious tomato sauce to pair with pasta, vegetables, fish, meatballs, and fresh cheese. Datterini tomatoes reportedly have a great shelf life. Like all tomatoes, store them away from direct sunlight at room temperature until fully ripe, after which refrigeration can prevent further ripening and slow the process of decay.
Datterini tomatoes are often used in Italy for preserving and canning, and they undergo a strict production process of planting, harvesting, and storage. The canning process dates back to the late 18th century in France when the need for a stable source of food for the military became crucial, and the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte offered a cash prize for a breakthrough in the preservation of food.
Datterini tomatoes are mainly found in Italy, with different strains hailing from specific regions of the country. Tomatoes are tender, so ensure that you wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting outside.
Recipes that include Datterini Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.