The vivid red of the tomato instantly brings to mind the blissful warm days of summer. The sultry sun of the warm season ripens and deepens the intensity of its colour and its captivating flavours. Delectable, healthy and available on board MSC Cruises ships, they are simply delicious.
The tomato, a plant originally native to the Americas, has become one of the basic ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. Now cultivated across the world, it has become a vegetable that unites continents and people thanks to both its taste and health benefits.
To think that when it was introduced to Europe way back in 1540 by Hernan Cortés, it was used as an ornamental plant and was believed to be poisonous. It was only later that its health and nutritional properties, and above all its rich, full-bodied taste, were discovered. The French believed it to have aphrodisiac properties and christened it the “pomme d’amour” or “apple of love”.
Once ripe, the tomato is rich in active nutrients and low in calories. It contains the group B vitamins, ascorbic acid and vitamins D and E, which ensure its antioxidant properties. Its mineral content is also impressive: iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and calcium.
In the kitchens on MSC Cruises ships, the tomato is king: from the colourful salads that stand out on every buffet to the luscious sauces for pasta, meat and fish, and not forgetting the unbeatable pizza that is always available at any time of the day.
It is a basic ingredient of the alcoholic and health beverages on offer at our bars. When consumed as a liquidised drink, it ensures an excellent amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is very useful in the prevention of some forms of cancer.
If you are daring enough, enjoy it in a fiery blend with vodka, Tabasco, lemon, salt and pepper, the ingredients for one of the most famous cocktails: the Bloody Mary, a drink that eases the flow of conversation and enlivens the evening.