Round and in furious red, tomato is the king of summer salads. But tomatoes can have different shapes and colours. In Chile, there is a very special tomato, whose flavours and properties today are underlined by its category of Denomination of Origin. Let’s travel to the south of Chile, to the beautiful Angol Valley.
The native soil of the tomato is South America. Until conquering European tables in the eighteenth century, the Europeans did not eat it. They thought it was poisonous. Its plant was only used as ornament in gardens. What an irony of history! How could we imagine the European cuisines without this delight, especially the Italian?
Tomatoes are eaten raw, dehydrated or cooked, as a base of soups, sauces and jams. It is the base of a healthy diet, even some scientists argue that it helps to prevent cancer. Tomatoes have vitamins A, B, C, E and K, plus minerals such as magnesium, potassium and the famous lycopene. The lycopene is a type of pigment, a relative of carotene, which gives the tomato its fascinating reddish or dark orange hue.
However, there is a type of tomato that has more lycopene than others. It is the Chilean tomato with D.O. Valley of Angol called Cal Ace. It is a very old variety, large and perfectly round. Its skin is smooth and not deformed. It ripens quite late, but it worths for the wait, because its meat is firm, juicy and simply delicious.
The Angol Valley is located in the Araucanía Region, precisely in the Malleco province. Among volcanoes, ancient forests, lakes and rivers, deeply rooted in the Mapuche culture, this particular fruit appears like a gleaming sun that bursts into the horizon. Soils of volcanic origin, combined with a fresh Mediterranean climate, not only allows the tomato to mature very calmly, keeping its sweetness and acid in perfect balance, but also in recent years has been the cradle of fresh and crispy Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In the local cuisine, the Angolan tomato is used fresh for the so-called Chilean salad, always accompanied with onion feathers and green chili strips of. Also, to prepare pebre, that exquisite dip with coriander and onion, that accompanies so well the empanadas and meats of Creole cuisine. Perhaps one of the most traditional Chilean dishes is tomatican, which consists of pieces of meat in the pan, accompanied by corn and tomato sauce. This dish is very comfort, but also fresh and very summery. It’s to fall in love with Trio Merlot.
If you prepare recipes with fresh tomatoes, such as caprese salad or gazpacho, I recommend the vibrant Casillero del Diablo Rosé. But if you add a protein, and prepare a delicious grilled sole with fresh tomato cubes macerated in olive oil, I recommend a medium bodied white wine as Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay.
In many cuisines of the world you can find rich dishes with tomato sauce, such as Greek moussaka which, although it contains ground beef, does not need a wine with too much body. Try Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir and enjoy in full the Mediterranean flavours of this dish. Some oriental meals also use tomato sauce, such as the famous Indian chicken tikka masala. This recipe, already part of the world heritage, contains an immense variety of spices. That’s why I invite you to taste it with the fresh and citrus Casillero del Diablo Pinot Grigio, which will enhance all its flavors and extinguish the fires.
We can also use dehydrated tomatoes. Their flavours are incomparable. They have a lot of umami flavour and that’s why they combine well with cheeses. I recommend a bruschetta with Parmesan and Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut, or a salty tart with goat cheese, black olives and Subercaseaux Extra Brut. I remind you that sparkling wines are also rich in umami flavour, therefore, these pairings are exceptional. And, for dessert, a cheesecake with a tomato sorbet and, of course, a late harvest wine.
For me, tomatoes are like pearls in the kitchen. They look good with a flirty and elegant black dress, but also with jeans, white shirt and sandals. They always bring a fine and distinctive touch. They make everything taste better. In Provence they are called “pommes d’amour” (apples of love), because of their aphrodisiac properties. If you do not believe me, prepare my simple Provencal tomatoes, open a rosé wine and watch the sparks in the eyes of your partner.
- 4 ripe tomatoes from Angol
- 4 slices of a rustic white bread
- 4 chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
- Heat the oven to 200 ° C.
- Cut the tomatoes in half; try to remove the seeds and juice. Put on a baking sheet.
- In a blender grind the bread with garlic, herbs, condiments, walnuts and olive.
- With the hand put this dough above each tomato. Bake for about 15 minutes (tomato must be soft)
- Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for a few more minutes until melted. Serve warm or at room temperature.