WHAT IS A BEEFSTEAK TOMATO?
As the name suggestions, this is one of the largest and firmest fruits in the tomato family. They can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Native to Central and South America, they were first introduced to Europe by explorers in the 1500s. Available in red or green, their meaty texture and sweet flavor of this heirloom popular in recipes for slicing. Higher in sugar than cherry tomatoes, they have a high ratio of both water and flesh per seed. Ironically this also means that this tomato is not ideal produce for large supermarket chains. Unlike other tomatoes that are engineered for mechanized picking, beefsteaks are easily bruised.
WHY ARE BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES GOOD FOR YOU?
A great source of vitamin C, they’re rich in anti-oxidants and lycopene. They’re also low in calories and a good source of fiber.
WHEN ARE BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES IN SEASON?
This is a late summer harvest in part due to the amount of growing time their large size requires. On average they take about 3 months from seed to being ready to eat.
HOW SHOULD BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES BE STORED?
Store them stem side down in a cool room away from direct sunlight until ripe. Then refrigerate to slow down continued ripening which is now leading towards spoilage. While tomatoes do not need to be blanched before freezing, they don’t hold up well when frozen whole. This is because as the ice crystals form during freezing, it breaks the bonds inside the flesh of the fruit making it mushy when thawed. Instead first process (into a puree, sauce, etc.) and then freeze. Check out this video for a step by step instruction using a vacuum at home!
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CONCASSER A BEEFSTEAK TOMATO?
Click here to see!
HOW ARE BEEFSTEAKS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TOMATOES?
They’re bigger, sweeter and have a somewhat less intense flavor then most other tomatoes. With a larger diameter then most of their cousins, they felt well on sandwiches when sliced. And their firm texture allows for even thin slices to stay relatively firm (and not fall apart)!