Today is January 1, 2011. Happy New Year!
What a wonderful year we are anticipating, one of hope and promise!
I know it is a holiday, but I am at the office and I felt the urge to write another book.
So far, I have written 42 books as of yesterday.
My beloved pet Koukla is not in my company today since she passed away last year.
I really miss her! I am debating whether or not I should adopt another dog.
I wrote a book about my pets and should you have a chance you may read their story entitled, Koukla, Irma and Tiger.
My topic for today is The Tomato Plant.
I scanned the Internet and the first thing I read was that the Spaniards brought the Tomato from South America to Europe in the year 1493.
I realized that if I continued, I would read many versions of the origins of the tomato.
I recall from reading during adolescence that many books referred to the fact that Alexander the Great fed his army carrots and tomatoes.
In addition, there is a variety of tomato called the Roman Tomato.
So, whom do we believe?
The fact is Tomatoes are a part of our life and there are many types and, apparently, thousands of varieties.
The following are a few examples:
The Beefsteak, large in size and is usually sliced for sandwiches.
Cherry Tomatoes, small and round, are ideal for salads or eaten whole.
The Grape Tomato, small in size, is a variation of the plum tomato commonly used in salads.
The Plum Tomato is used in the preparation of Tomato Sauces and Pastes.
The perception in Canada is that the very smooth, very red, and very round Tomato is the ideal one.
However, a little bumpy skin or even a scar or two and a touch of green are things to look for because that may be the most delicious one.
Many people keep tomatoes in the refrigerator.
Ideally, the tomato should be stored at room temperature since the tomato loses its flavor once stored in the refrigerator.
Tomatoes are consumed in a variety of ways: raw as in a salad, sliced on sandwiches, as an accompaniment and garnish to dishes.
They may be grilled, baked, added as an ingredient to stews, sauces, chutneys, or blended and pureed for soups and beverages. And of course, there is tomato ketchup.
The wonderful thing about the tomato is that it contains practically no cholesterol.
It is very low in calories and fat, and very high in Vitamins A and C, with lesser amounts of Calcium and Iron.
Nevertheless, despite its goodness, there are instances where tomatoes may be prohibited in certain diets and illnesses, especially when eaten with the skin on.
I will not discuss this in any further detail.
Those diagnosed with this problem can relate to this statement.
The tomato plant grows from a height of one foot to approximately eight feet.
The stem is very weak and it is best to reinforce it.
The tomato plant is very delicate and susceptible to fluctuations in temperature and weather conditions, like winds, heavy rain, and flooding.
Years ago, I decided to enter the tomato business.
On April 30, 1980, I wrote an article in the Goudas Events Section of my website reflecting my humble beginnings in the Tomato business with the help of Ms. Vale Glazier in Blenheim, Ontario, one of the nicest tomato growing areas in South West Ontario.
During my visit to the factory at the time, not only did I see beautiful tomatoes, but I also went close to the plants and I sensed the beautiful aroma.
At this time, thoughts came into my mind of incorporating the essence of the plant within the ink of the label so that visually impaired consumers may be able to identify at home that a can contains tomatoes.
An article reflecting this idea of mine was posted in The Globe and Mail Newspaper, April 30, 2001.
It is important to note that any variation in temperature may make a huge difference in the outcome of the size, taste, and appearance of the final product.
Tomatoes do not require the Caribbean like temperatures.
During this time, I had a very close friend who was The Toughest Man on Earth, Lenio Montini, of Montini Foods.
Our friendship lasted until his passing in 2005, despite the fact that we were competitive in business. In case you do not know, Mr. Montini was the largest Italian importer of many products from Italy, including Olive Oil and Tomatoes.
Mr. Montini informed me that the Italian canned tomatoes are much better tasting tomatoes because Italy and surrounding areas, such as Greece and Turkey, enjoy an additional two extra months of summer which allows the tomato to grow peacefully in its own sweet time.
Thus making the final outcome of the product so exceptional in appearance, that when you pick up a tomato off the vine, you simply wipe it against the leg of your pants and bite into it in such a way that the juice drips from both sides of your mouth and your shirt becomes red and messy and that taste remains in your memory for years to come.
I wrote an article about Lenio Montini called The Toughest Man on Earth and you may read it in my biography, titled, The Immigrant.
Mr. Lenio Montini also told me that when canning tomatoes in its own juice, Italians allow the water to evaporate from the juice of the tomato 10 to 13 %.
That is why when you open a can of Italian tomatoes, generally, the juice is much thicker and ruby red in color.
Let me make this clear. Not all Italian canned tomatoes have this privilege because not all producers and brands use this process.
For many years, I was marketing the Montini brand of tomatoes.
Unfortunately, in the early 1990s, the Montini factory had a huge explosion and three-quarters of his factory were destroyed.
The remaining area of the factory was subsequently allocated to oil production only.
The need for a good quality equivalent to the Italian process was absolutely necessary for the Canadian market.
At that time many corporations decided to create brands like supervisor choice, my grandma favorite, and my uncles brand.
All of which were based on the cheapest possible products.
Therefore, the field was open for an exceptional product.
That is when I began developing several varieties, based on the Italian process, such as:
Whole Tomatoes in its own Juice, Crushed Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes with Herbs and Spice, Tomato Juice, Tomato Paste, Pasta Sauce, Pizza and Pasta Sauce, Marinara Sauce and Tomato Ketchup.
All of these products are categorized in our business circle as Red Products.
The above tomato products under The Goudas and Mama Lucia labels are the finest in the country, if not the best.
And, I do believe they are the best!
I will not go into the details of recipes because there are recipe books everywhere and on websites.
Not only are these items available in retails sizes, but also in institutional sizes which, unknown to customers, are used by some of the best chefs at the finest restaurants.
However, I can assure you and endorse any document stating that if the name on the label is Mr. Goudas, it is nothing but the best, because nothing but the best is good enough for you!
Since I study and focus on the development of all my products very intensely and I mentally place myself in the kitchen of the housewife, I know that when it comes to Tomato Paste, in particular, trying to open the can with a can opener is very difficult sometimes.
Once the can is finally open after the wrestling match with the can and the opener, only one or two spoonfuls of the paste are required for any given recipe.
The remainder is then placed in the refrigerator.
When the housewife tries to use the refrigerated portion, it has turned black in color and full of mold.
Some people try to remove the blackness and mold or frustrated, the can is thrown into the garbage.
It saddens me to think that after all the time and effort I placed into producing this ruby, red, beautiful and delicious tasting Tomato Paste, it ends up in such a state.
A few years ago, I tried to create a smaller can for the convenience of my consumers.
The can, 75 to 100 ml in size, is wider in diameter with an easy pull top, (so no more wrestling match with an opener that does not work.)
My idea was an easy pull, one use container similar to the small tuna size, only to discover after all my expenses, that there are regulations in Canada with respect to size requirement in Tomato Paste products.
These regulations have been in existence since the beginning of the last century and are very difficult to change.
However, I have made some progress with Canadian officials to allow me to produce some batches smaller in size with the easy pull top on an experimental basis.
This does not mean that the product will cost less, but at least the housewife will avoid the wrestling match with the can opener and the disgusting look when trying to use the leftover, refrigerated tomato paste.
The photos reflect some of my tomato products so that you may become familiar with the label and the red product line.
You may also use this booklet as an illustrative guide for your favorite supermarket manager
Should you do not see my products in the supermarket that you frequent, just go across the street to another store, you will probably see my products there.
It was a glorious start to the New Year with a record temperature of 14 degrees Celsius outside.
In conclusion, I would like to wish you a very healthy New Year.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Tomato can be used in thousands of recipes from all over the world, however, in this website, we have mentioned the ingredient Tomato, in the following recipes.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας