A new tomato in the Peppadew stable

Peppadew is embarking on a brand new taste adventure with the launch of very new and very unique sundried raisin tomatoes.

Says Peppadew International managing director, Phil Ovens, “Peppadew has established itself locally and internationally as a brand which continues to bring new and innovative products to the marketplace. Internationally, the Peppadew brand is dominant in the antipasti sector and we have now taken a decision to extend the brand into other antipasti related products. We are particularly pleased to announce the launch of our Peppadew sundried raisin tomatoes here in South Africa.

“This development illustrates our belief that the quality and innovative nature of our products is crucially important particularly at a time when consumers are becoming more and more demanding, insisting on natural nutritious foods that are both trendy and inventive. We are eagerly await the success of sundried raisin tomatoes in South Africa – the product is also scheduled to launch in the UK quite soon along with artichokes, roasted red peppers and jalapeno boats.”

Sundried tomatoes are believed to have originated in southern Italy. Italian peasants, without the means to sufficiently refrigerate or can fresh tomatoes, dried tomato halves on their terracotta tiled roofs. They could then enjoy these pomodori secchi or dried tomatoes throughout the winter until fresh tomatoes were again available.

The Peppadew sundried raisin tomato is the result of co-operation between ZZ2 (arguably the largest tomato growers in the world) and Peppadew International to bring a unique product offering to South Africans.

Explains Ovens, “The tomato is the product of a revolutionary new patent. It contains a very specific gene which is bred into the tomato using 100% natural breeding methods and the seeds are from a patented seed source.”

The benefit of this gene is that numerous micro fissures (extremely small openings) are created as the raisin tomato reaches maturity enabling the raisin tomato to self-dehydrate while locking in the aromatic flavours and retaining its natural sugar content.

Continues Ovens, “The Peppadew sundried raisin tomato is small and perfectly formed and cannot be compared to other sundried tomatoes. It dries naturally while still attached to the vine and no additional chemicals are used in the drying process. The unique gene further ensures that the raisin tomato offers a tastier, more aromatic, versatile and appealing alternative to oven-dried tomatoes. Our sundried raisin tomatoes add stature to the Peppadew brand personality where we strive to launch innovative products that complement and enhance our core product range.”

“The Peppadew Sundried Raisin Tomatoes come marinated in oil, retaining their plump moist texture. And they certainly pack more culinary punch than their dry packed cousins,” notes Ovens. “They’re not only more flavourful but you can toss them into the food processor as is. The oil makes a lovely topping for bruschetta; use it instead of regular oil after youve garlic’d the bread. And, of course, wonderful perfume from the oil negates the need for any oil on a salad or a pizza!”

Sundried raisin tomatoes are also budget-friendly as a relatively small amount gives a gourmet touch and a burst of flavor to a variety of recipes. They are immensely versatile as gourmet pizza toppings, in antipasti and tapas, delicious tossed into pasta and added to burger patties, bagels, salads, meat loafs, savoury tarts, frittatas, and stir-fries. They are also excellent as a stuffing for chicken breasts and as a base ingredient for dips, pestos, spreads and salsas.

As with all other products under the Peppadew brand name, the Peppadew sundried raisin tomatoes do not contain any preservatives, colourants or GM ingredients and have a 24-month shelf life (use within six weeks once opened).

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEPPADEW SUNDRIED RAISIN TOMATOES

The tomato, like pink grapefruit and watermelon, contains high levels of lycopene, a carotenoid and close chemical relative of the better-known beta-carotene. It works in the body as an exceptionally powerful antioxidant. Evidence is building that lycopene may help protect against prostate, lung and stomach cancers.

Some doctors also believe lycopene can help prevent heart disease. Cholesterol is dangerous as a potential artery clogger only when it is oxidised by free radical molecules, and lycopene has been shown to protect cholesterol from oxidation.

Although raw tomatoes and juice are a fine way of obtaining vitamin C, the body does not absorb much lycopene from tomatoes in their natural state. This is because lycopene is lipid soluble, which means is better absorbed when consumed in processed or heated tomato-based products rather than in raw tomatoes. Therefore, tomato soups, baked beans, bottled sauces, commercial purees and anything else that contains cooked tomatoes and some oil are likely to be a valuable health food. Enter Peppadew sundried raisin tomatoes!

1. Gram for gram, Peppadew sundried raisin tomatoes have 10 times the amount of lycopene than a raw tomato.

2. Lose none of their natural nutritional value in the drying process.

3. Are a natural source of Vitamin C and a good source of iron. Vitamin C is a recognised antioxidant compound.

4. Contain no trans fats.

5. Contain no cholesterol.

6. Are low in fat and sodium and rich in natural fibres, iron, calcium and zinc.

7. 100gm of the tomatoes contains 75% of the daily recommended intake of Vit E.

Source: Peppadew International; www.peppadew.com