What is beefsteak tomato?
Beefsteak tomato is one of the largest tomato varieties with a meaty and firm flesh. This exceptionally pulpy fruit belonging to the indeterminate kind of tomatoes, continues yielding until it is killed by frost. Its attractive size, juicy taste and rich nutrient content makes it a preferred culinary choice.
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- In Spanish: Tomate Beefsteak
- In French: Beefsteak Tomate
- In Latin: Beefsteak Consectetur
- British English: Beef Tomato
Beefsteak is a giant-sized tomato, with an average weight of 1 to 2 pounds. Wide and bulky at the center and comparatively flattened at the top and bottom, this variety often comes with a ribbed exterior and several tiny locules (seed compartments).
Their common colors include light red, and orange along with certain variations like pink and purple.
Besides its juicy flavor, it has a typical tomato taste, though some varieties may be sweeter.
Some of the common types of beefsteak tomatoes include: (2,4,5)
- Brandywine (a pink-colored heirloom variety)
- Beefmaster VFN (hybrid)
- Big Beef
- Beefsteak VFN
- Red Ponderosa
- Cherokee Purple
- Mortgage Lifter
Given below is the nutritional information for 148 grams of raw beefsteak tomato.
Health benefits of beefsteak tomato: What is it good for?
Studies have deduced that the presence of the antioxidant, lycopene, in all tomato varieties, facilitates in preventing bone loss by slowing the breakdown of the bone cells. Including it as a part of your salads and soup may benefit in keeping bone-related concerns like osteoporosis at bay.
Enhances heart health
Beefsteak tomatoes help to minimize bad cholesterol and triglycerides lessening chances of heart diseases. Recent research states that the rich content of phytonutrients, flavonoids as well as fatty-acids in all tomato varieties ensures a good heart health, also helping to fight hypertension, that is one of the key factors triggering a cardiac problem.
Cancer preventive properties
Studies suggest that they contain anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory substances such as alpha-tomatine, a phytonutrient found in tomatoes that have been shown to hinder the development of prostate cancer cells in men. Its lycopene content is also said to be beneficial in combating the malignant cells, though more research is needed to validate the same.
Being low in calories, beefsteak tomato is considered to be a healthy diet option for reducing weight.
The presence of the antioxidant lycopene helps in inhibiting free radical damage, while its Vitamin C content aids in maintaining a healthy immune system, also keeping common ailments like cough and cold away.
Including beefsteak tomato as a part of your daily diet may therefore contribute towards maintaining a sound overall health.
The high Vitamin A content helps improving eye sight, also minimizing the risk of cataract progression.
For skin and hair
The lycopene in it promotes healthy skin and hair from within. Besides consumption, tomato pulp or juice may also be applied to skin and hair externally like a mask to get rid of tan and to condition your hair for a silky smooth shine.
Can beefsteak tomato be bad for you?
Although it is good for health if taken in controlled portions, excessive consumption of any tomato type, including the beefsteak, may lead to digestive disorders alongside other adverse effects.
Being high in many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B1, B2, C, folate and iron, beefsteak may be a good diet option for pregnant women. However, a doctor’s consultation is recommended while including it in your diet during pregnancy.
What is beefsteak tomato used for
- Fresh raw or grilled beefsteak tomatoes may be sliced to make for a great ingredient in a variety of salads along with other ingredients.
- The rich flavor and fleshy, succulent texture of beefsteak tomatoes makes it a desirable ingredient for soups, pasta, salsa sauces or ketchup.
- It serves as a healthy side-dish when braised or roasted with meat and fish or stuffed with cheese, sweet corn, basil, oregano etc.
- Because of their sweet taste they are used in desserts.
- These big-sized tomatoes make for an ideal topping in burgers, pizzas and sandwiches.
How to prepare and cook beefsteak tomatoes
To cut and slice
First wash the tomato well and make sure the core is facing upwards before you start cutting. Then firmly hold the tomato and remove the core of the tomato with a sharp knife.
To dice, take a large knife, and cut through the middle. Take one half of the tomato, place the inner flat surface on the cutting board, and cut vertically into pieces that are 1 cm wide or of a desired length. Turn the sliced set of tomatoes horizontally, again chop them into 1 cm square cubes and repeat.
To get completely round tomato slices for salads, turn it sideways on its curved surface. Run the knife down slowly and steadily at the edge of the tomato to get discs of the desired thickness.
How to prepare
Since these tomatoes are quite flavorful and fleshy, the best way to cook them is to roast them with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. It can also be pan fried for a few seconds with vegetables and a pinch of salt. However, be careful not to cook it too much as it will ruin the natural succulent texture of the tomatoes.
- Beefsteak tomato tartare
- Beefsteak tomato tart with asiago cheese and thyme
- Beefsteak tomato and mozzarella salad
- Bruschetta with beefsteak tomatoes
- Crispy Parmesan Tomato Chips
- Grilled Tofu and Beefsteak Tomatoes with Fennel-Onion Chutney
- Summer Panzanella Salad
- Romaine Pesto and Egg Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes
- Beef and Beefsteak Tomato Burger
How to store
Put the beefsteak tomatoes in the fridge only after they have ripened enough and have acquired a uniform red color. Refrigerating them for too long or in an extremely chilly or cold temperature may dry out the fruit and ruin its flavor and freshness. Since beefsteak tomatoes are quite heavy, spread them out and in a single layer inside the fridge and handle carefully to avoid bruising.
Where to buy
Due to their size, beefsteak tomatoes are not grown commercially that often as compared to other types, since they are not suitable for mechanization. Therefore, it may be difficult to find these tomatoes at every vendor or grocery store. A viable option is to order them online from a reliable source. They can also be quite easy to grow in your own home garden.
How to pick fresh beefsteak tomatoes
Select beefsteak tomatoes that are a uniform red or deep orange in color as the greenish or yellowish ones are unripe. Slightly squeeze the tomato to make sure it isn’t too mushy or too hard.
- The Mortgage Lifter variety earned its namein the 1940s when Marshall Byles, a tomato cultivator, sold his tomato seedlings for $1 each to pay off his $6000 mortgage.
- Beefsteak tomatoes are the most popular kind of home- grown tomato in North America.
- by Ujjaini Ganguly
- January 17th 2017