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and drink
by Shari Darling
Often referred to as the tomato-lover’s
tomato, the Campari variety is slightly
bigger than the cherry tomato. They
are usually packaged in a plastic con-
tainer with the tomatoes still attached
to part of the vine. This variety offers
a ‘vinous’ quality to the flavour, giving
the perception that it was just picked
off the vine. This earns the Campari a
very special place in our culinary rep-
ertoire. Cherry tomatoes are ideal for
hors d’oeuvres and to toss in salads.
Regular-sized tomatoes can be used
in cooking. But the Campari is just the
right-sized tomato to slice for appetiz-
ers, sandwiches, pastas and as a pizza
topping. The Campari is aromatic,
sweet, firm and juicy. Its best quality,
in my opinion, is low acidity, making
this tomato a friendly ingredient in
dishes to be paired with red wine.
The natural acidity in fresh tomatoes
normally demands the crisp acidity of
a white wine. Tomatoes, once cooked
or slow-roasted, can work with red
wine. But the Campari, when fresh,
can complement Burgundy, Pinot Noir
or Gamay.
Legal controversy exists over who
actually owns the trademarked name
“Campari” and the right to grow this
variety in North America. But, from a
Canadian consumer’s perspective with
an ongoing goal to ‘buy local’, we’re
thrilled that the Campari is currently
grown and sold by Sunset located in
Kingsville, Ontario. President’s Choice
also produces and sells this variety
called “Sweet Cocktail” tomatoes –
tomatoes on the vine.
Campari tomatoes should never be
refrigerated, as cold temperatures
tend to cause them to lose their
flavour and become pulpous. They
should be stored at room tempera-
ture, with stems up to avoid bruising.
Keep these little gems out of sunlight
as well, otherwise they will dehydrate.
Like most tomato varieties, the
Campari is packed with nutrition
and health benefits. First of all, one
Campari tomato contains only five
calories! Tomatoes, in general, are
rich in beta-carotene, lycopene and
vitamins A, C and E. Their antioxidants
support and strengthen the immune
system and contain the B vitamins
and vitamin K.
My close friend, Eleanor Humphries,
created this dish for my husband and
me for lunch one summer afternoon.
It was absolutely delicious. Knowing
that our lunch would incorporate
fresh goat cheese, I brought, as a
partner, a crisp, cool-climate unoaked
Chardonnay. My logic was that the
tanginess from the goat cheese would
complement the wine’s crisp acidity.
I was incorrect. When heated and
mixed with starchy water (as needed
in this recipe) the chevre became fatty
and creamy. The Campari tomatoes
are also sweeter and lower in acidity.
Thus, this dish was far more deserving
of a full-bodied white wine such as
a warm-climate Chardonnay from
Australia or South Africa. You might
also prefer red, so choose Pinot
Campar i