Costoluto Fiorentino Tomato
Costoluto Fiorentino tomato is an Italian beefsteak heirloom. Produces large red tomatoes with a slightly flattened and ribbed shaped. Reliably ripens at a good rate and I have been impressed by the flavours when the 10cm by 3.5cm fruits are slow roasted or cooked down into a sauce. A semi-bush variety that requires staking.
Sow – Start on a heat mat or indoors in late August, plant out after risk of frost and soils warmed (November) -cool climate. Can start earlier if planting in a hot house. 8 weeks from sowing to planting approx..
Spacing – 50 to 60cm if staked.
- The wild ancestor of the tomato is native to western South America. These wild versions were the size of peas. Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica were the first to have domesticated the fruit and used in their cooking.
- The Spanish first introduced tomatoes to Europe, where they became used in Spanish food.
- In France, Italy and northern Europe, the tomato was initially grown as an ornamental plant. It was regarded with suspicion as a food because botanists recognized it as a nightshade, a relative of the poisonous belladonna.
- This was exacerbated by the interaction of the tomato’s acidic juice with pewter plates.
- The leaves and immature fruit contains tomatine, which in large quantities would be toxic. However, the ripe fruit contains no tomatine.