It seems that every time we eat something of Mediterranean origin, such as spag boll, lasagne, moussaka and so on, or many other dishes which require a vegetable sauce, its the faithful old tomato which forms the basis of the sauce. OK, so tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables, but they seem to be the only thing that fits the bill. Most vegetables would need copious added water to make a viable stock or just can't do the job at a cost or flavour which rivals the tomato and other fruits are just too, well, fruity. Would you really fancy a spag boll doused in sweet sticky orange juice or bitter mouth drying lemon juice? Nope, the tomato seems to fit the bill to a tee, not too sweet, not too sour, not too wet, not too dry and just seems to lend itself to savoury and herby dishes and at a reasonable price to boot.
But suppose you don't like tomato? Or just a tad fed up with it? Are you destined to never sample the delights of Canelloni? Are you confined to eating dry Bursa Kebab?
The jolly old tom is a faithful and versatile culinary ingredient as well as being a stand alone drink and salad essential, but is there a substitute for them? Something which would match them on sweetness, wetness and the all important cost.