Why limit yourself to summertime to taste the flavors available during the warmest, brightest months of the season? Enjoy Tomato Flakes year-round for their bright, sweet, zesty, summery flavor and get some sunshine in, even if it's too cold to remember what sunshine feels like in the dead of winter. Tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, are full of vitamin c and lycopene- two things the body needs to help ward off diseases like cancer and heart disease. This includes dried tomatoes, too! They don't lose their nutrients when they are dried, unlike many other fruits and vegetables. Use them in place of fresh tomatoes or use them where you would usually incorporate sundried tomatoes.
We have evidence that some of the earliest tomatoes were eaten by Aztecs. They were likely a yellowish color, not the vibrant red we associate with tomatoes today. The Aztecs would salt and then sun-dry their tomatoes for preservation so they could be eaten after tomato season was over.
Wealthy Europeans of the 1500s associated tomatoes with death because they didn't understand that the acid in tomatoes would pull the lead out of their pewter plates and utensils, effectively giving them lead poisoning. Sadly, the tomatoes were blamed for the deaths and it wasn't until decades later that anyone made the connection that it was lead poisoning and not tomatoes killing people. The less affluential citizens of Europe at this time ate food off wooden plates and utensils, so they were completely unbothered by the lead poisoning the wealthy suffered from.
Even though tomatoes came from the Americas, it was their popularity in Europe that helped establish them as a source of food in the United States. It wasn't until after the American Civil War that tomatoes were used in the kitchen, since before the war they mostly used as decorations and called "love apples." Europeans didn't really eat many tomatoes, except for the everyday Italian folk who used them much more, until Pizza Margherita was invented in by Raffaele Esposito in the 1880s. This pizza, created especially for Queen Margherita and King Umberto I, was such a hit with the Queen that it was named after her and spread across the rest of Europe rather quickly. Esposito had taken inspiration from the Italian flag and added tomato, mozzarella, and basil to the top of his pizza. After that, tomatoes were eaten much more frequently than they were left out to look at.
Pizzas used to be sweet, with many early Italian cookbooks using sweet ingredients on top of thin crusts. What we know of as pizza today more closely resembled schuacciata, a flatbread with savory toppings that is popular in the Tuscany region of Italy.
German folklore had stories of witches using plants to summon werewolves to do their bidding, and most of these plants were in the nightshade family. The German name for tomato translates to "wolf peach," and they were pretty much entirely avoided because of their association with werewolves. Eventually, during the 18th century, the name transformed into "edible wolf peach" to encourage people to eat them.
While tomatoes are culturally considered a vegetable, they are biologically a fruit. Tomato plants need loamy soils that are well-drained to grow properly. They like acidic, well drained soils and lots of sunlight, with at least 6-8 hours of direct sun needed daily for the fruit to develop a strong flavor. 2 to 3 feet between plants is standard for them to grow to their full potential and they can be planted from seeds or from cuttings of a previously established plant. They prefer to have their soils wetted in the morning versus the afternoon or during the night as the water helps them stay hydrated through the hours of intense sunlight. When watered at night, they may develop root rot. Tomato plants are susceptible to disease and pests. Tomato plants produce yellow flowers that grow green tomatoes. The green tomatoes eventually ripen into a yellowish color and finally a red. Some varieties remain yellow even when fully ripe, while others will turn more orange.
Our Tomato Flakes come from China
It's best to use these in recipes that have a liquid element. They can be added early in the cooking process to be able to absorb that liquid and become rehydrated. These dried tomato flakes add vibrant color and impressive depth of flavor to all sorts of dishes and we especially love to use their rich flavor in making breads, chili, pasta sauces, pizza, soups, stews, vegetable dishes and vinaigrettes.
You can rehydrate tomato flakes with hot water, broth, or vegetable juice. Simply place your desired amount of tomato flakes into a small dish or saucer and cover with enough liquid to fully submerge the flakes. Let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then drain any excess liquid. If you are not going to use them immediately after re-hydrating, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. The sooner you use them, the better. Only rehydrate the amount you will need for the recipe you are hoping to make, as they don't keep very well once rehydrated. Rehydrated tomato flakes mixed with a small amount of olive oil and some chopped garlic makes for a lovely spread for fresh Italian bread.
Dried Tomato Flakes have a much longer shelf life than fresh tomatoes. Store them properly and they will last for up to a year and maintain their strong, delicious flavor. Keep your tomato flakes in an airtight container, away from light and humidity.
Tomato Flakes have a concentrated tomato flavor that is sweet, tangy, and slightly acidic
Tomato powder makes for a good substitute if you are just looking for a flavor substitute. If you need more of the texture aspect that a rehydrated tomato flake would give, try tomato paste.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*