At Roma, we know that in order to find authentic Mediterranean ingredients, we need to go directly to the source. If you travel to Potenza in Southern Italy during the summer months you will find the distinctive smell of fresh, ripe tomatoes being harvested. This is where the journey of our Roma tomatoes begins.
Tomatoes where first documented in Southern and Central America. The Aztecs are known as the first to use tomatoes in cooking, with evidence that it was used in an early form of a salsa! After he invaded Mexico, Cortez the Conquistador brought tomatoes back to Europe where their future as a food source was not immediately obvious.
Spain originally grew tomatoes as an ornament plant, not unlike flowers. However Italy, where they were to be known as 'pomi d'oro' (golden apple) was the first country to really cultivate and embrace tomatoes as a food. At the same time, in Northern Europe there was scepticism over tomatoes, with some people seeing them as poisonous, while there are also reports of other people using them in witchcraft!
Because tomatoes are self pollinating, they became a cheap and reliable source of food in hot Mediterranean climates. Italy in particular took tomatoes to their diet and they became an important part of many Italian recipes. With an improved manufacturing process, fresh Italian tomatoes were able to be canned and shipped to markets across the world.
Today there are a number of different variants of canned tomatoes. As tomatoes are only ripe at certain seasons, the Roma canned tomatoes are picked in summer and their freshness sealed in cans, to be eaten all year round. The inside of our tins are lacquered to ensure this flavour of the tomato is maintained.
The difference between the Roma Chopped, Cherry, and Whole Peeled tomatoes is the difference in size of tomato which is harvested. Each variant of Roma tomatoes is picked, cleaned, chopped or peeled and in some variants fresh herbs or spices added to make such products such as our Roma Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic or our Roma Chopped Tomatoes with Chilli.
Roma also have a range of puree and passatas for people who like the taste of tomatoes in their recipes, but not necessarily the texture.
While organic tomato seeds are no different to conventional tomatoes, they are grown free from artificial plant protection and are strictly monitored by Italian and Irish organic bodies to ensure that they are a 100% organic produce.