With their elongated shape, Torino tomatoes might seem like just another type of tomato. That’s without considering the exceptional amount of lycopene it contains!
To avoid certain severe illnesses and issues related to old age, it’s a good habit to take on, to eat these tomatoes and relish both taste and health benefits!
A tomato with high levels of lycopene
Lycopene is a red pigment that occurs naturally in all tomato varieties, and in watermelon and grapefruit, too. It’s technically a tetraterpene that’s classified in the carotene group. This is, in a few words, an antioxidant hydrocarbon that is naturally present in our bodies. Lycopene is said to have a protective impact against prostate cancer, and generally contributes to reducing cardio-vascular diseases.
The Torino tomato has around 40 mg of lycopene where other tomatoes only average about 5 mg. In addition, this variety has particularly high amounts of vitamins E, C and beta-carotene. This generous tomato, also called the “anti-aging tomato”, seems to help the body fight against cell destruction and limit loss of cognitive functions.
How to grow the Torino tomato
Sowing torino tomato seeds:
- Sow in trays filled with a blend of soil mix and sand.
- Place the tray in a sheltered, luminous place where the temperature hovers between 60 and 65°F (15 and 20°C).
- Once the young sprouts germinate, transfer them to a cold greenhouse or to a cooler spot, as long as it doesn’t freeze. This step aims to harden them and make the sprouts more resistant.
- When 3-4 leaves have appeared on the young seedlings, transfer them to individual nursery pots.
- Once any risk of frost has subsided, plant them in a sun-bathed area of your vegetable patch, sheltered from stronger winds.
- Maintain a distance between seedlings of about 30 inches (80 cm) apart.
- As you’re working on the planting and turning the soil over, take the time to add a little compost and fit a stake for each plant right from the start. It’ll guide the vine and hold it up as it grows.
Apply a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture, you won’t need to water as often.
This has an added benefit: lower stems won’t touch the ground directly, and they won’t catch any diseases linked to moisture.
Harvesting Torino tomatoes
Torino fruit harvest takes place between July and September. The dream situation is when you harvest the fruits as you need them, in order to maximize their freshness and medicinal properties.
To check whether a tomato is ripe, look at the color. Since this is a red-colored variety, the more red the fruit, the riper it is for picking. Once ready for the harvest, the skin softens and they’re easy to pull off the plant.
To keep them longest, avoid the fridge and, instead, free a shelf for them in a cool room. This will make sure their sweet, juicy and tangy taste keeps for a long time.
Cooking with Torino tomato
Afficionados will claim that a dash of olive oil is all that’s needed, while others also add a few slices of mozzarella. A good thing to know is that cooking increases the quantity of lycopene. Indeed, heat makes cells burst, releasing their contents.
If you really want to reap the health benefits of this tomato, best use it for sauce, ratatouille, or to bake them in the oven, mediterranean-style. The long shape it has means you can slice it into identical round slices that are just the right size for mozzarella slices!
It’s a favorite for pies, wraps and pizzas, all in all just as good for the body as it is for the gourmet soul!
Price of Torino tomatoes?
In supermarkets, they’re sold at around 5-6 dollars for a couple pounds (4 pounds or 6 € per kilo). Go ahead and sow them, it’s easy to find packets of seeds that are about 2 dollars, pounds or € for a dozen or more seeds. Not only is sowing and growing them yourself much more affordable, it’s simply magical to bite into tomatoes you’ve grown and harvested yourself!