This week’s bag highlights the currant tomato, the closest descendant to the wild tomato. Think of them like cherry tomatoes, but smaller. They have a sweet-tartness due to their high sugar and acid profile when ripe. In combination with the juiciness of this tomato, they’re perfect for eating out of hand, scattered onto salad, canning, or preserving. Consider leaving them whole during culinary application to experience its full flavor profile.
Currant tomatoes have higher lycopene, vitamin C, phenolic acid, and antioxidant capacity than its cousin – the commonly cultivated domestic tomato. The fruit hangs in clusters resembling red currants which gives them their name. Because of their disease resistance and habit of producing fruit in long clusters, currant tomatoes have been cross-bred to create many of the cherry tomato varieties we enjoy today.
The red currant tomato is native to the western coastal areas of Peru and Ecuador, where they can still be found growing wild in coastal South America. Although, their natural habitat is radically declining under the pressure of urbanization and intensive agriculture.