The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as one of the healthiest in the world, with studies showing that the diet could prevent health problems like heart attacks, heart disease and strokes by up to 31 per cent.
Spanish food is emblematic of the Mediterranean diet. It is well-known for its incredible, flavoursome dishes cooked up using only the freshest of local produce. Foods like olives, oranges and seafood are bursting with nutrients and body-loving vitamins.
One type of food is especially integral to the Mediterranean diet: the humble tomato. While the food buzz has traditionally focussed on newly-defined superfoods like Kale, or signature Spanish dishes like classical cured Jamon Serrano, there is one tomato that is now enjoying its moment in the sun: Huevo de Toro.
Its name literally translates to “the bull’s ball”, there is no tomato more Spanish or tasty than Huevo de Toro.
Let’s take a look at why the huevos de toro is turning other tomatoes green with envy and how we can use them in some Mediterranean diet recipes.
What makes huevos de toro different
Huevos de toro is grown in the fertile hinterlands of Malaga.
They are larger than the average tomato and have a deep shade of red to their smooth skin. With a creamy, sweet and juicy texture, the huevo de toro is easily one of the tastiest and healthiest crops found in the Andalucian fields.
They are best known for their antioxidant benefits, boasting high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and manganese. The tomato is bursting with other wonderful nutrients and acids that keep our bodies in optimal condition. If that wasn’t great enough, they’re even said to possess anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
The popularity of the trendy tomatoes
The exquisite tomato became a staple in the rise of fine Spanish dining, with chef’s inspired by their juicy texture and fresh, unmistakable taste. It can cost a pretty sum to get your hands on these tomatoes, and you may to beat off celebrity competition on the way — renowned flamenco dancer Sara Baras shelled out 3,700 euros for a five of the fleshy fruit at the charity tomato auction in Coin (this comes down to 700 euro per kilo!).
If you are looking to buy, try not to get them confused with another Spanish delicatessen derived from the bull’s intimate parts. The tomato adopted this name thanks to its large oblong shape, but the similarities between the two ingredients stop there!
How to grow them
Given the tomato’s hefty price, consumers hungry for the tomato have opted to try growing them themselves. After all, a tomato is fairly easy to grow, right? The thing is if you’re ravenous for that same delicious plumpness offered by Andalucian farmers, you’ve got to get the conditions just right.
Get your gardening gloves on in March, as this is the best time to sow the huevos de toro are best sown. Their optimal time growing falls between July and October, depending on the weather. You’ll have to be hands-on during this time to combat any plagues or pests that try to contaminate the fruit — you’ve only got this short seasonal window to get it right, so make sure to protect your vines!
Once picked, it’s best to eat up the juicy, deep red huevos de toro after a few days of picking.
Mediterranean recipes using huevo de toros
Huevo de Tomate plays an incredibly versatile role in dishes, so if you’re keen to explore Mediterranean diet recipes, add packed flavour and texture, be sure to put huevos de toro on your shopping list!
Why not try an all-time favourite like Spanish meatballs with lentils using juicy huevos de toro. The succulent meatballs are simply irresistible bathing a bowl of sweet, tangy tomato-based sauce blending garlic, onion and vegetable stock.
Or why not make huevos de toro the main star of your dish with a fresh, healthy tomato salad using only the biggest and best huevos de toro. Toss together the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a hint of salt for a pure taste of fresh tomato heaven.
Be sure to use them quickly. These special tomatoes don’t stick around for long and will start to lose their pizazz after a few days, so it’s recommended to eat them while they’re fresh or pop them in the freezer for future meals.
Get fresh with Terminal 42
With a whirlwind of never-ending diet trends, the Mediterranean diet still remains a highly-trusted and reliable approach to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Rich in nutrients and minerals that help maintain a tip-top functioning immune system, Spain’s menus offer endless healthy, traditional delights.
If you’re looking for some fresh, delicious grub in Barcelona, look no further than Terminal 42. We’re bringing freshness every day of the week. Visit our website or come in to see us!