It tastes like fruit! Supreme tomato with condensed tastiness
Tomatoes come in so many different varieties. We asked store manager Ito of grocery store suika in Kagurazaka, Tokyo, which variety would be good for the current summer season.
“Tomatoes become a bit watery with the start of the rainy season. In the early summer, from spring to just before the rainy season, tomatoes from Honshu (mainland Japan) are good, and tomatoes from Hokkaido are good from mid-July to September. Hokkaido does not have any rainy season so tomatoes grown there do not get watery. Instead they become very sweet,” said Ito, showing us a variety called Momotaro Natsumi from Iwamizawa, Hokkaido.
Tasty vegetables are healthier
“Quality vegetables and fruit have a rich taste, so you do not need to season them so much when cooking them. If you know how to choose good vegetables and fruit, they will also have health benefits,” says Ito.
We asked her how to choose good tomatoes.
“They should be quite heavy, symmetrical and perfectly round. If there are many radial lines on the bottom, it means the tomato is full of energy and sweet. Check the cap next. If the cap is bright green, fresh and taut, the tomato is fresh.” According to Ito, if the tomato is sweet raw, it will be even sweeter when cooked.
Bold use of seasonal vegetables in sweets
We wanted to learn more about new ways of enjoying tomatoes. With that in mind, we visited con-fectionery researcher marimo.
marimo’s sweets are not just simple and tasty, but are popular because of the presentation that can cause one to let out a shout of joy at first glance.
“I usually think about recipes that reflect seasonality. Seasonal ingredients have much energy and more than anything, they are tasty. I feel as if they give me power,” says marimo.
According to marimo, sweet tomatoes from Hokkaido are perfect for sweets, because they require less sugar. The tomatoes’ perfect sourness also makes the taste compact and tasty.
“If you are going to cut tomatoes and use them as they are, they will feel more pleasurable in your mouth if you peel them. If you are going to make a puree, it will be quicker to use a food proces-sor. If you heat the tomatoes to remove moisture and condense the taste, the tomato flavor will be intact even after you mix it with other ingredients,” marimo advises.
This time we asked marimo for a recipe for confectionery that is easy to prepare in the hot summer season, without having to use an oven or butter as it would melt.
Use sourness and cooling sensations to survive the summer
According to marimo, it would be a good idea to incorporate sourness and cooling sensations for summer sweets. Sour ingredients like yogurt go well with tomatoes, which is also a sour vegetable, and allegedly there is a rule that “same colored ingredients also make a good match,” so matching tomatoes with red ingredients like berries would be a good idea.
“Once you have completed making your sweets, do add herbs like mint and chervil. Most of the time sweets have a warm color. If you add something green, it will look tastier. If you have made ice cream, put it in a glass bowl after cooling the bowl for about five minutes in the freezer. That way ice cream will take longer to melt, so it is a good way when you are serving it to other peo-ple,” says marimo.
A refreshing, summery sweets recipe. Why not try this recipe, appreciating the depth of tomatoes’ benefits and the great potential of vege-table sweets?
Writer : YOKO AOYAGI / Photographer : marimo / SATOSHI TACHIBANA
Shizon Kagurazaka, 6-8-27 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
* Three minutes’ walk from A3 exit of Ushigome-kagurazaka station on the Toei Oedo subway line
* Three minutes’ walk from No. 1 exit of Kagurazaka station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai subway line
* Seven minutes’ walk from B3 exit of Iidabashi subway station
|Hours||11:00 ~ 20:00
(until 19:00 on Sundays and national holidays)
|Open||all year round|
Confectionery researcher / confectionery hygiene master
Representative Director, marimo cafe, Inc.
After graduating from college, marimo worked for a major printing company while study-ing confectionery through distance learning from an international confectionery school. After taking multiple confectionery classes, she branched out on her own in 2015.
Her activities cover a wide range, from running a confectionery class, developing recipes for companies, providing recipes for books, magazines and websites, to making appear-ances on radio programs. She is also known for her photography skills, submits photos to camera magazines and makes appearances at camera classes and events. Her publications include Cookpad marimo 1016 No Daikohyo Okashi (translation: Cookpad marimo 1016 Popular Sweets, published by Takarajima), 6 Koma Okashi Recipe (translation: Sweets Recipes in Six Steps, published by Wani Books) and marimo café No Shiawase Sweets (translation: marimo café’s Happy Sweets, published by SB Creative).
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