Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Tomato Taste

I suppose that real tomato taste is one of the main reasons why people grow tomatoes but what makes one tomato taste different from another?

If you grow tomatoes, there are five things that affect their taste:

  1. The variety.
  2. The amount of sun they receive.
  3. The amount of water they receive.
  4. The minerals available in the soil.
  5. Time since picked.
The variety you choose to grow has the biggest affect on taste. Sungold, for example is very sweet with little acid whereas Gardener's Delight has a more traditional flavour that is a good balance of both sugar and acid content.

Other flavours are more difficult to describe but every variety has its own distinctive taste when just picked.

The sun they receive helps to develop the flavours too. It's not just because you are on a happy holiday on the Mediterranean that everything tastes great - it's because of the amount of sun!

Nutrients and minerals are needed by the plant to develop taste. The more water there is in the soil, the more diluted the nutrients are. This means that plants that are over-watered produce tomatoes that are less strong in flavour.

If you don't give your plants all the nutrients they need their flavour will be reduced.

It is well known that most fruit is best picked and eaten as soon as possible to get the full goodness of vitamins and taste - this also applies to tomatoes.

I suppose that's why they say: "there's only two things that money can't buy - true love and home-grown tomatoes!"

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