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Old 06-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
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Tomatoes

Just watching "Jamie's 30 Minute Meals" with Mr O liquidising tomatoes for a sauce. He said that the calyx (The green bit where the stem connects) should be left on as it enhances the flavour.

Now, I always thought that the green bits (stems, leaves, etc.,) on tom plants are poisonous as they are related to deadly nightshade. So now I'm puzzled. Do I eat the calyx or not?
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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I cut it out of regular size tomatoes but I leave it on cherry or grape tomatoes.

I don't think it is poisonous or particularly tasty.

I notice some commercial canners leave it on and I try to remove those when I see them.

It reminds me of people telling me how wonderful french fries or potato salad is with the skins left on the potatoes. IMO that is a rumor being spread by lazy cooks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Poison, shmoison. I cut it out because it doesn't taste like tomato.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Poison, shmoison. I cut it out because it doesn't taste like tomato.
Exactly.
Even though the tomato is in the same family as nightshade and the leaves and stems contains small amounts of solanine, you would have to eat many, many times the normal amount for it to have any effect.
Same with potatoes.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Now, I always thought that the green bits (stems, leaves, etc.,) on tom plants are poisonous as they are related to deadly nightshade.
That's potatoes, which should not be eaten when turning green, nor should green sprouting areas. The evil part of potatoes is solanine, the alkaloid substance that makes the green parts turn green. The green in tomatoes is caused by the alkaloid tomatine (they have no significant solanine), and it is harmless. Thus, generations of southerners have survived their dishes of green tomatoes. And adventurous cooks add a few tomato leaves to the sauces and pesto for an extra something. A few folks around the work eat them for their own sake, but not many.

The mistake is understandable, since the error appears in any number of works, including Wikipedia. But foodie great Harold McGee looked into this and got to the truth, if any getting to was really needed, given the number of green tomatoes eaten every year. And tomatillos, also of the nightshade family, as always eaten green.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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Interesting. I would have never thought to add tomato leaves to anything edible. Might have to run out and try a leaf.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #7
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I think it's like most herbs. Good to add a bit, but I wouldn't make mean of it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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I've never heard of adding leaves to sauce, either. But I like the musky smell of tomato leaves, so the idea appeals to me enough to try sometime down the road when my tomatoes are ripe.

Maybe I should say if my tomatoes ripen. They are way behind this year due to the late spring we had.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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If the green stem is an obvious blob, I cut it out. My knife somehow just follows the green stem spot and any green area near it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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I went out and munched a tomato leaf. Meh. Not a lot of flavor.

My cherry and strawberry toms are coming on, the bigger ones (Better Boy and Early Girl) aren't setting yet.

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