What to do with bland tomatoes

Leading SA grower Emmanuel Cafcakis has the antidote to bland tomatoes found in many of the big supermarkets. Emmanuel, who has been a grower for more than 30 years, works with his son Jack at their farm at Virginia on the northern Adelaide Plains.

His range includes varieties such as Strawberry (small tomato with a strawberry shape); Otello (Spanish-origin black and red, less acidic); Ox Heart (old-school shape, heirloom variety) and Pequino.

“With a Pequino, when you eat it, you wait a minute and the taste still lingers in your mouth, I can’t stop eating them!” he says. Emmanuel started travelling overseas about four years ago to seek out different tomato varieties from seed companies.

“I don’t want to compete with the massive boys, the growers who supply the huge supermarkets. We want to grow really good tomatoes and lots of different kinds,” he says.

“Many growers focus on production numbers but the fact is, people go back to tomatoes that taste good.

“I take them home to eat so if they’re good enough for my family, they’ll no doubt please others, too.”

Cafcakis’s premium-quality tomatoes are grown using the latest hi-tech hydroponics which guarantees a consistent supply of the fruit.

“We pick three times a week, take them to the produce market and they are distributed from there. It is so easy in SA when everything is so close,” Emmanuel says.

“We enjoy our relationship with Chapleys and we like all the great things they’re doing at Pasadena and Frewville.

It means a lot as a grower when you see your product on display or when people tell us our tomatoes taste good. We have a lot of pride in the produce we grow.

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