Cherry tomatoes are so called because they are considered to be similar in size to a cherry, but also because of the burst of sweetness when eaten. Just like in all tomatoes, cherry tomatoes contain Lycopene, an antioxidant that can assist in protecting the cells in our body from external factors. Cocktail tomatoes are a little larger.
Ranging in size, shape and colour, many types can be found, either loose in punnets or held together on the truss.
Originating from South America, but then widely cultivated in Southern Europe, this very versatile fruit has endless uses and can be enjoyed in so many ways.
How to prepare
Cherry and cocktail tomatoes hardly need any preparation. You can just eat them fresh or cut them in half and add to almost any savory dish. If present, remove any green parts of the stem and give them a wash over. There are many different cooking applications.
- Baked: 15-20 minutes
- Sautéed: 6-9 minutes
- Microwave: 3-6 minutes
- Grilled: 6-9 mintues
Buyer's and storage guide
Cherry and cocktail tomatoes should be firm, have a uniform colour and be without any damage. When punneted, look at the bottom to ensure that it is dry.
Often to lengthen the shelf life, the fruit may not be fully coloured, in which case leave out on the kitchen bench in a bowl to ripen fully.
Store cherry and cocktail tomatoes in a cool place in the kitchen and they should last about a week. It's best not to store tomatoes in the refrigerator as this can halt ripening and affect taste. If necessary to do so, remove a couple of hours before use to bring them back to room temperature for best edability.
Fruit can be blanched for 2-3 mintues, drained and pat dry, put into a sealed container in the freezer for later use in sauces and stews.
- Just eat them fresh as snacks, which is a great idea for kids lunch boxes
- Cut in half on toast for breakfast, with avocado and cracked pepper
- With some mozzarella and a basil leaf on a cocktail stick as an appetizer
- Skewered with onion, mushroom, capsicum and halomi then grilled
- Cut in half and toss in a salad, or used as a pizza topping or roast in the oven with some olive oil and garlic to serve with other vegetables
- Classic flavour matches include garlic, cheeses, basil, mint, other fresh herbs, salad leaves, vinegars, seaosning, black pepper and dried fruits