Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Italian Plum Peeled Tomatoes

One of the Great British Breakfasts is bacon and tomatoes. Here is a recipe. You need:

Enough really good smoked streaky bacon for everybody
Enough tomatoes for everybody
About 1/2 cup of really stewed tea per person (the dregs in the pot will do - don't add milk or lemon juice)
Nice bread for toast, and butter for the toast

Cut any rind off the bacon and remove any bone. Leave the fat on. Cut it into bite-sized pieces and fry it until it's done, but not crisp. You can add a small amount of oil to the pan if you need to.

You can use tinned tomatoes if you like, but fresh ones are better, and if you use fresh ones you can peel them or not as you choose. If you don't peel them, cut them into pieces so that the bits of skin are not too big. Add the tomatoes to the bacon in the frying pan. This way all the flavour of the bacon mixes into the tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are a thick paste.

Add the tea and reduce again. Taste the mixture before and after adding the tea so you can see what a difference it makes. Add salt if you need to, but usually the bacon has enough of its own.

Serve on hot plates, with buttered toast. Don't put the bacon and tomatoes on the toast because all that happens is the toast goes soggy, so why bother toasting it?

The tinned tomatoes that you can usually get are described on the tin as "Italian Plum Peeled Tomatoes", and have been described like that for as long as I can remember. The word order is wrong. It should be "Peeled Italian Plum Tomatoes". Why the word order needs to be like that I don't know, and I wouldn't be able to explain it to a French person, for example. My Estonian friend who speaks perfect English, tells me that this is because I don't know my English grammar, and that there is a set order for adjectives in English. e.g. "Blue 19th Century porcelain Ming vase"

As it happens I am growing Italian plum tomatoes in the garden this year. They are deep red, fleshy, full of flavour and big, like a sweet pepper, but longer. And tomato-y. I used some in a bacon and tomato breakfast the other day. They're OK, but a bit too sweet for use in this recipe. Better are the round ones.


Jo said...

Delicious - one of my favourites too. I always use the stewed tea but have bread rather than toast. I think it soaks up the juice better!

ReedBunting said...

My feeling on the issue of the plum tomatoes, and I'm no language scholar, is that "plum tomatoes" are a thing so it doesn't make sense to split those two words with "peeled". That leaves "Italian peeled plum tomatoes" and "Peeled Italian plum tomatoes" (or "Italian plum tomatoes, peeled"). The former means, to me, that the plum tomatoes were peeled in Italy. Whereas the latter means that the plum tomatoes were grown in Italy (or at least of Italian variety) but could have been peeled anywhere.

@eloh said...

This is one of those posts that (for me) blogging is all about.

I have never heard of this...
not in a million years would I have known this was an English Breakfast.

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