Red Hot Tomatoes

AN ODE TO MY YORUBA FRIENDS

This is an ode to my Yoruba friends who I believe make the best use of red hot tomatoes. Is there ever a Yoruba household that exists where one wouldn’t find tomatoes (in abundance) or red peppery tomato stew? When it comes to tomato stews my Yoruba people have locked it down. In the markets, tomatoes abound, pretty much always, except that one time recently when there was a scarcity here in Nigeria.

Tomatoes come in many varieties around the world, yet here in Nigeria, so far the varieties are all red. They are grown in Norther Nigeria, in places like Jos and Zaria, to name a few. Also, they are available throughout the year in different varieties based on location and seasons. I look forward to the day heirloom tomatoes are grown here.  There is something to be said about their rainbow of colours. I truly love that there are so many great recipes ideas for which, both the local and heirloom tomatoes would do justice. Beyond just stew, dare I say.

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When it comes to trips to the market, there’s something about tomatoes. Rarely can one go shopping and not be compelled to buy them. Roma tomatoes are especially wonderful for salads. If you find yourself out shopping in Lagos, Nigeria at any of the local markets; Oyingbo, Epe, New market or Sangrose, to name a few, you will definitely find the Yoruba variety.

What does one do with them? What is there not to do? Blend and freeze them to preserve them for your stew-making, chop them into your salads, grill or roast them. There are so many amazing dishes you can conjure up with tomatoes and I look forward to sharing some recipes here.

Culinary information; Tomatoes are technically a fruit, but are considered a vegetable from a nutritional perspective.  They can be paired well, from a flavour profile perspective, with a long list of ingredients. However, they are best paired with; basil, beans, bell peppers, vegan cheeses, chiles, chives, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic,  onions, oregano, and parsley.

"A WORLD WITHOUT TOMATOES IS LIKE A TALKING DRUM WITHOUT OSAN (SIDE ROPES)"

       ~Annoymous

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